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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

India : 16 people dead in 90 days; Cause of death: unknown

Article via Mid Day, mysterious disease has cause 16 fatalities :

" Officials and experts from five medical bodies of the state are hard at work in Sindhudurg district, where a mystery organism has claimed 16 lives; preliminary investigations have ruled out Leptospirosis as a probable cause

With 16 residents of Sindhudurg having succumbed to an unknown malady in the past three months, the state health department is pulling out all the stops to hunt down the killer bug that caused it. Experts from as many as five medical bodies have been dispatched to the killing fields by the state health department, and are burning the midnight oil to identify the cause and nip it in the bud.

Giving officials of the Health Ministry additional cause for concern is the fact that this is the second consecutive deadly outbreak in the district, within the span of a year. Last year, 18 deaths were reported in the district, all caused by leptospirosis. In the Konkan belt, 12,000 confirmed cases of the disease were recorded, with 44 of the afflicted patients succumbing to it.

According to reports, 17 patients complaining of symptoms like cold and respiratory distress died in the past three months. Doctors at Sindhudurg immediately suspected a return of the Leptospirosis bug, and the district had experienced an outbreak of the disease last year. Moreover, the symptoms common among all the victims were fever and respiratory distress, both of which are tell-tale signs of leptospirosis. However, pathological reports managed to confirm Leptospirosis as the cause for only one death of the 17. Six of the deaths occurred in the Kankavli block of the district."

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