A ProMED-mail post <http://www.promedmail.org> ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases <http://www.isid.org> Date: Sun 7 Oct 2007 Source: The Telegraph (Calcutta) [edited] <http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071008/asp/northeast/story_8406647.asp> India (Manipur) - mystery ailment kills 7: request for information ------------------------------------------------------------------ A supposedly mysterious disease has caused 7 deaths in a border area without doctors has set alarm bells ringing in the Manipur capital. Health minister P Parijat Singh today despatched a medical team to Moreh, bordering Myanmar, to detect the disease that has spread quickly in the villages along the boundary over the past week [1-6 Oct 2007]. The additional director of public health, Th Biren Singh, said the state health directorate received an SOS from Chandel district yesterday [6 Oct 2007]. Patients suffering from the disease have complained of high fever, stomach pain, and vomiting. Health department officials said some of the victims had convulsions and seizures before they died. The directorate is still clueless what the killer ailment is since the symptoms are common to several diseases, including gastroenteritis, cholera, dysentery, and acute stomach infection. We have received preliminary information of some deaths in the border town in the past few days. We sent a medical team there today and will do everything necessary to contain the outbreak, the health minister said, ruling out the possibility of the disease assuming epidemic proportions. The first death occurred on 28 Sep 2007 and the last on 5 Oct 2007. We are preparing to send another batch of medical staff once we receive a detailed report. We will also send in specialists, Biren Singh said. He said blood samples of patients would be collected and tested to identify the disease type. The disease could have been triggered by contaminated water. We are in the process of finding the exact cause, the health minister said. Moreh, the main trade link between India and Myanmar, has only one primary health care centre, which was upgraded to a community health centre earlier this year. A couple of months later, the community health centre was shifted to Sugnu in neighbouring Thoubal district, as the state government planned to construct a 50 bed hospital in the town. The medical staff at the health centre were also moved to Thoubal along with the new recruits, rendering the Moreh unit defunct. Acknowledging that healthcare programmes had failed in the border town because of lack of adequate manpower, Parijat Singh said the government would soon deploy trained personnel at the health centre. Bets on what this turns out to be? The symptoms are vague and the history down right sucks. Cholera? Nipah virus? I figured this section could use some activity?!