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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

WHO Update - Azerbaijan

WHO Update. They have confirmed 7 human cases in Azerbaijan and they are testing 2 more. The details of the Salyan group are sobering:
Six of the cases occurred in Salyan Rayon in the south-eastern part of the country. All six cases resided in the small Daikyand settlement of around 800 homes.

A 17-year-old girl died on 23 February. Her first cousin, a 20-year-old woman, died on 3 March. The 16-year-old brother of this woman died on 10 March. A 17-year-old girl, a close friend of the family, died on 8 March. All four of these cases lived together or near each other. The source of their infection is presently under investigation.

Note the date sequences. The concentration of illness among the young is very similar to that seen in Indonesia, as are the sequence dates in several different cases seen in Indonesia. Later on WHO says they are doing more research, because:
In this community, the defeathering of birds is a task usually undertaken by adolescent girls and young women. The WHO team is today investigating whether this practice may have been the source of infection in Daikyand, where the majority of cases have occurred in females between the ages of 15 and 20 years. Interviews with surviving family members have failed to uncover a history of direct exposure to dead or diseased poultry for several of the cases.

That's not that new either. There has been a confirmed death in Tarter. The latest cases being tested:
Two additional patients, from Salyan and the adjacent rayon of Neftchela, have been hospitalized with symptoms of bilateral pneumonia. Testing of these patients is presently under way.

There are unconfirmed reports of illness in soldiers in Georgia quite close to Azerbaijan. The media report was that the soldiers hospitalized were bleeding from the nose. I think WHO's resources must be pretty stretched by this time.

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