Angola - Mystery Hemorrhagic
Fever, 93% Death Rate
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

A ProMED-mail post ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Angola Says At Least 77 Die In Acute Fever Outbreak
(Reuters) -- At least 77 people, most of them children, have died in northern Angola after an outbreak of a disease the World Health Organization (WHO) suspects to be acute hemorrhagic fever, officials said on Friday [18 Mar 2005].
They have ruled out the Ebola virus -- a type of hemorrhagic fever and one of the world's deadliest diseases -- but are urging people to avoid travel to Uige, about 140 miles north of Luanda.
"Most of the city has been affected, but some areas are worse hit than others. We ruled out Ebola on Monday," Health Ministry spokesman Carlos Alberto said.
Diplomatic sources in Luanda said they understood the airport in Uige had been closed.
Jose Caetano, a WHO spokesman in Angola, said most of the victims were children with symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhea. He said at least 77 of the total of 83 people believed infected had died.
"The situation is now under control. Our problem is trying to get the sick to go to health centers. We are trying to encourage people who feel any of the symptoms to get medical attention as quickly as possible," he told Reuters in Luanda.
Caetano said Angola's limited laboratory facilities had hampered identification of the disease and that samples had been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the Pasteur Institute of Dakar in Senegal.
He said the 1st case had been detected in November [2004].
Alberto said a specialized medical team was already on the ground in Uige and a national commission had been created to respond to the outbreak.
-- ProMED-mail <>
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Angola's Ebola-Like Illness Targets Children
The Scotsman 3-18-5
An Ebola-like mystery ailment that has killed at least 39 people in Angola over the past 3 months is primarily targeting children under 5 years of age, the UN health agency said today.
While the disease in Angola's northern province of Uige has still not been identified, health officials believe it is an acute haemorrhagic fever related to the Ebola virus, said Dick Thompson, spokesman for the World Health Organisation. But unlike Ebola, which tends to predominantly affect the adult population, 4 out of 5 cases of this new ailment have been children, Thompson said.
"With Ebola, the age distribution is generally quite different than what we are seeing here," he said. "But we are not ruling Ebola out. We are not ruling anything out." The symptoms of the virus -- including vomiting, bloody discharge and high fever -- are similar to those for Ebola and dengue fever, according to the World Health Organisation.
Angolan officials have put the death toll at 64.
-- ProMED-mail
In the 1st newswire above, there is mention of 83 suspected cases with 77 deaths -- a case fatality rate of approximately 93 percent. In the last ProMED-mail posting there were reports of 64 deaths without giving a denominator for the number of suspected cases. Now that there are teams on the ground investigating this outbreak, one expects to find changes in the tallies in terms of reported cases and deaths, both related to application of clear case definitions in identifying cases as well as implementation of active surveillance to identify cases that may not have come to the attention of the health sector.
The newswires are intriguing in terms of the mention that 80 percent of cases have been in children less than 5 years of age, suggesting either immunity on the part of those older than 5 years, or an exposure that is predominantly seen those under 5. According to the Health Ministry spokesperson, Ebola virus has been ruled out as the etiology, although the WHO spokesperson still leaves that open as a possibility. Obviously we await more information from knowledgeable sources. - Mod.MPP
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at:
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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