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Marburg Toll in Angola Rises to 327

Recombinomics Commentary
May 9, 2005

The Marburg toll in Angola rose to 327 on Friday when 8 new cases were recorded in the Ministry of Health's daily report.  All but 11 of the reported cases were in Uige province.  There were four additional deaths, raising the total to 287, again with all but 11 in Uige.  However, on Friday, May 6,  seven more cases were administratively removed from the list.  Since there are now only 11 "official" cases outside of Uige, the 7 cases removed all came from within Uige city, where there were 252 cases prior to the removal of the 7.

The May 6 report shows that the number of new daily Marburg cases is significant, but so is the administrative removal of prior cases.  This administrative removal is now focused on Uige, because the number of cases and deaths outside of Uige has been reduced to 11.  The number of cases being monitored per this report was 211.  All monitored cases were within the province of Uige

The difference between the number of cases and the number of deaths has risen to 40, indicating new cases are being added faster than old patients can die, which is another indication that the Marburg virus remains quite active. 

It remains unclear if the lack of additional cases outside of Uige is due to collection procedures or evolution of the virus to a form being missed by current primers.  False negatives due to mismatched primers appear to be significant for H5N1 bird flu in Vietnam, as well as H1N1 WSN/33 pandemic flu in Korea.

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