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Mystery Fatal Hemorrhagic Disease in Shandong China
Recombinomics Commentary 03:05
July 28, 2008
"China reported that approximately 20 days ago, a man suddenly died from an unidentified disease in Wanjiakou Village, Xiaoguan Town, Wendeng City, Shandong Province. His entire body turned dark purple, and he bled from his mouth, nostrils, ears, and eyes just as he died.
Shortly after the man died, 2 other men who been in contact with him, died showing the same symptoms. Villagers who had left the village to work said "3 people died 10 days ago. 6 or 7 more are being treated in the Wendeng Central Hospital. People have been to the area to investigate, but they are unable to classify the disease."
The above comments from ProMED describe a contagious hemorrhagic disease in China. There are some similarities with an outbreak that began in Sichuan province at this time in 2005. The symptoms were very similar and matched symptoms linked to the 1918 pandemic. The Sichuan outbreak had linkages to swine and was said to be linked to a common swine bacterium that had turned more virulent. However, the time and location of the earlier outbreak raised concerns of linkage to H5N1, which can cause the same symptoms.
Similarly, the current outbreak in Wendeng is on the west side of the Yellow Sea (see satellite map). North and South Korea are on the east side, where H5N1 has been suspected or confirmed.
More information on the current outbreak would be useful
Recombinomics Paper at Nature Precedings