Published Date: 2004-03-19 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Melioidosis - Australia (NT)
Archive Number: 20040319.0770
MELIOIDOSIS - AUSTRALIA (NORTHERN TERRITORY)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Australia Broadcasting Company [edited]
5 cases of rare disease reported in Top End
The Northern Territory Health Department says there have been 5 cases
of melioidosis in the Territory this year. A 2-year-old girl is the
latest victim of the disease and is in critical condition in the
Royal Darwin Hospital. However, the health department says it is
unusual for children to catch the potentially fatal disease.
The disease is spread through bacteria in soil and can enter the body
through cuts in the skin; symptoms include headache, fever, and often
a non-healing sore.
A spokeswoman for the department, Vicki Krause, says recent rain
could mean more cases.
"Usually, increased rain does equal increased cases of melioidosis,
so it might be in the next couple of weeks we will see an increased
number of cases," she said.
[This disease -- with potential use as a bioterror agent -- is
endemic in the northern regions of Australia, thought to be brought
there by Australian troops returning from World War II. As pointed
out by Dr. Martha Salyers of Public Health Regional Surveillance in
Asheville, NC in response to the recent posting (20040308.0654) of
the infection in Queensland, Australia, _B. pseudomallei_ is listed
by CDC as a category B, not a category A biowarfare agent. -Mod.LL]