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Marburg Toll in Angola Rises to 345

Recombinomics Commentary
May 20, 2005

The May 18 update from the Angola Ministry of health includes 3 new Marburg cases and 2 news deaths recorded on May 17, raising the total number of cases to 345 and the total deaths to 319.  All of the cases are in the township of Uige.  However on May 17 eight previously reported cases were discarded.  These prior reported cases appear to have been deaths because removal of eight fatalities would lower the number of cases to 337 and the number of deaths to 311, which would match recently announced figures.

All 8 discarded fatalities were in the township of Uige.  Thus, the number of new cases and deaths are being reported at the rate of 2-4 per day, but previously recorded fatalities are removed from the totals. The removals sometimes are listed in the discarded column, like the 8 listed above, and other times the numbers are simply reduced without explantion (i.e. the total for May 16 should have been 344 based on the 4 deaths on the priovious day and no discarded cases - however, the number listed on the May 18 was only 342, so the total was reduced by two without explanation and an additional 8 were discarded from the township of Uige).

Thus, the total number of cases and deaths move up slowly, and some days the total number dead declines, because more fatal cases are removed than added.

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