Thursday, November 29, 2007

Deadly Backache in Zambia

An unknown disease, first reported last Sunday, has infected more than 20 and already killed 4 in southern Zambia. Health officials are currently investigating the cause of the disease, and the remaining 20 patients are in quarantine. The characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease are vomiting and a severe backache. Using these symptoms, the GIDEON (Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network) database gives a 30% probability that the disease is caused by Rift Valley Fever. The differential diagnosis includes viral, as well as bacterial and parasitic diseases. Besides Rift Valley Fever, these include leptospirosis, influenza, malaria, and bacteria meningitis (to name a few). However, necessary data and specimens to confirm the diagnosis are lacking at present.

- Claire,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,40256

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