A deadly new mutated adenovirus is about in the China seas. This promed email was forwarded to me by Luke Beckman:
Deadly virus> ------------> Medical examinations have determined that 8 other Chinese sailors> have the deadly virus, but have not developed any illness. The cook,> aged 40, and a crewmember of the vessel, aged 38, died on 9 Apr 2008,> after suffering high fevers for hours. No medication was able to stop> the progression of the disease.>> Experts of the Forensic Medicine Institute of Public Prosecutions> [IML] have determined that the cause of death was an adenovirus that> has become extremely deadly.>> Adenoviruses are spread by physical contact or through the air and> are one of the causes of the common flu, but were not considered> fatal. At least, not so far.>> The virus that causes severe acute respiratory [syndrome], an> atypical pneumonia that first appeared in November 2002 in Guangdong> Province, China, has been ruled out.>> The head of the IML, Luis Bromley Coloma, indicated that "we are> facing an adenovirus that has mutated and become deadly, but it is> still unknown what caused the mutation and how fast it can spread",> which is why an Epidemiological Alert has been declared.>> The autopsy performed on the 2 victims hurled death, multiorgan edema> in the brain, lungs, heart, liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and> microhemorrhages in all organs. Toxicological, biological, and> pathological tests performed revealed the presence of the mutated> adenovirus.>> Now, health authorities are working to establish where and what> generated the mutation to find a cure or a way to contain it.>> "Chan An 168" is a squid and shrimp fishing vessel that sailed from> the port of Yautay, China, on 19 Aug 2007 with 23 people on board.> Since then they have not had contact with dry land. On 13 Dec 2007 it> delivered its catch to another boat and received 2 other crewmembers.> The same happened on 15 Mar 2008.>> On 9 Apr 2008, the port captaincy of Callao received a distress call> from the captain of the "Chan An". That morning 2 Chinese crewmembers> -- the cook and a fisherman -- had died. The only symptom was a high> fever lasting from 2-5 hours; none of the medicines on board helped.>> Unfortunately, the Navy and International Maritime Health personnel> boarded the Chinese ship to provide the care they needed, without> taking the precautions needed to avoid contagion, hence it has been> decided to quarantine them. The disease can manifest itself in 14> days to 3 months.>> Specialists from the IML, and epidemiologists from the Ministry of> Defense, the Navy, and the Ministry of Health, met yesterday 19 Apr> 2008] to assess the results of the biological and pathological> examinations in order to take the necessary preventive measures to> avoid spread of the virus.>> "The autopsies carried out indicate that the 2 Chinese crewmembers> died from pneumonia resulting from an adenovirus, a cause of the flu> that is not usually fatal. What happened in this case is that the> virus has mutated and become deadly, and we are on an epidemiological> alert,'' the head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Luis> Bromley, said yesterday [19 Apr 2008].>> The specialist added that this outbreak has 2 characteristics: the> victims are people with weakened immune systems, having been almost a> year at sea, isolated and living in subhuman conditions. The other> factor is still being studied -- still unknown are the cause that led> to the mutation and how to fight it.>> "The entire crew has been evaluated and it has been found that 8> crewmembers are infected with the mutated adenovirus and are under> observation; they can not be treated, because we do not know how to> fight this virus," stressed Bromley.>> It has been arranged for 30 Peruvian people who have been to the ship> to provide help and have come into contact with patients remain under> epidemiological surveillance, isolated, and without contact with> their families until the deadly disease has been ruled out. In these> cases ''security measures may sound extreme, but prevention is better> than later to have to bear the consequences if nothing was done,"> asserted emphatically the head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine.