Last night ProMED Mail, the global electronic reporting system for outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases and toxins, carried an RFI (Request For Information) on the report out of China of the mysterious disease outbreak that I mentioned in yesterday's blog.
Here is a snippet from the RFI. Follow this LINK to read the entire post. There is considerable discussion in this ProMed Post.
Date: 27 Jul 2008
From: Stephen O. Cunnion
I received the following email from Chuck Dolejs of the International Association of Emergency Managers regarding a Sound of Hope web page (<http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/china/strange-disease-kills-three-in-china-1742.html>) updated [26 Jul 2008]. Has this outbreak been verified by authorities?
"China reported that approximately 20 days ago, a man suddenly died from an unidentified disease in Wanjiakou Village, Xiaoguan Town, Wendeng City, Shandong Province. His entire body turned dark purple, and he bled from his mouth, nostrils, ears, and eyes just as he died.
Shortly after the man died, 2 other men who been in contact with him, died showing the same symptoms. Villagers who had left the village to work said "3 people died 10 days ago. 6 or 7 more are being treated in the Wendeng Central Hospital. People have been to the area to investigate, but they are unable to classify the disease."
Most people outside of the village do not know about the illness. Their families do not want people who have left the village to return.
Stephen O. Cunnion, MD, PhD, MPH
Medical Director, National Security Health Policy Center
The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 200
Arlington, VA 22203
[ProMED-mail would like to thank Dr. Stephen Cunnion for sending on this information. As a reminder, it was he who sent ProMED-mail the 1st report on an outbreak of "atypical pneumonia" in Guangdong, China, on 10 Feb 2003 that we posted and was the 1st public notification of the early outbreaks of what was later named Severe Acute Respiratory Sydrome (SARS) (see ProMED-mail posting Pneumonia - China (Guangdong): RFI 20030210.0357 for this report).
Please note that this email and RFI doesn't confirm this story, it simply references a report posted on a website, and asks if it has been verified.
Also, at this time, there is no compelling reason to suspect that this outbreak (if it truly exists) has anything to do with pandemic influenza.
We really don't know anymore today than we did yesterday. Except that now there are more eyes watching the situation.
And that's always a good thing.
ProMED-mail is a service of the International Society of Infectious Diseases (ISID), and you can either visit their webpage or subscribe to their email updates. ProMED-Nail describes their service this way:
ProMED-mail is open to all sources and free of political constraints. Sources of information include media reports, official reports, online summaries, local observers, and others. Reports are often contributed by ProMED-mail subscribers. A team of expert human, plant, and animal disease moderators screen, review, and investigate reports before posting to the network. Reports are distributed by email to direct subscribers and posted immediately on the ProMED-mail web site. ProMED-mail currently reaches over 40,000 subscribers in at least 165 countries.
While I wouldn't recommend this service to hypochondriacs, those interested in keeping up with disease outbreaks around the world should consider joining, and financially supporting, ProMED-mail.