Published Date: 2004-04-14 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Melioidosis - Singapore (03)
Archive Number: 20040414.1020
MELIOIDOSIS - SINGAPORE (03)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 13 Apr 2004
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: The Straits Times, Wed 14 Apr 2004 [edited]
Another man dies from soil disease
One more person has died of melioidosis, bringing the number of persons to
succumb to the soil-spread disease in 2004 to 16. The 48-year-old man was
diagnosed sometime during the 1st 2 weeks of Apr 2004.
Like 12 others who had died of the disease, he was diabetic. Diabetics have
weaker immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to the
disease. Most of those who have fallen ill are also older. Only 3 people
[of the 12 who died?], including a junior college student, [were] below the
age of 40.
The man who [most recently] died visited several doctors after he began to
show symptoms, but did not respond to "standard treatment," said Associate
Professor Paul Ananth Tambyah, from the National University Hospital. "The
patient was very ill when admitted," he added.
With the most recent case, 32 people, including a foreigner, are confirmed
to have caught the fatal disease in 2004. Another patient may be suffering
from it, but the Health Ministry is waiting for confirmation from
Singapore has an average of 59 new cases every year. About one out of 4
people [who contracts the disease] dies from it. The highest number of cases
was 114, in 1998. In 2003, there were 42 cases with 5 deaths.
Infectious disease experts think the large numbers so far in 2004 were
caused by the recent heavy rains and floods. This may have brought the
bacterium which causes melioidosis to the surface.
[Byline: Salma Khalik]
[This report further reflects the fact that severe infection due to
_B. pseudomallei_, a Category B biowarfare agent, tends to occur in
immunocompromised individuals. - Mod.LL]