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Mysterious disease kills 14 in Bangladesh
www.chinaview.cn 2004-01-25 18:07:57

    DHAKA, Jan. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- A mysterious deadly disease has claimed lives of 14 children in the past week in this country.

    Three out of five children admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital(DMCH) over the last three days died on Saturday, raising the death toll to 14 due to this mysterious disease with symptoms including high fever, headache, tendency to vomit, diarrhea and loss of consciousness, the International Center for Diarrhea Diseases Research (ICDDR) told Xinhua on Sunday.

    Four out of the five children in DMCH including the two dead victims all came from a village called Goalanda in southwestern district Rajbari, some 130 km from the capital Dhaka.

    The DMCH has formed a medical board with experts from the medicine and neurology departments to work on treatment to the over 30 patients from the adjacent districts.

    Prof M Foyex, a member of the medical board Sunday told Xinhua,"we made different tests of the admitted patients in our hospital,but could not diagnose the disease yet."

    Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Virology DepartmentChairman Prof Nazrul Islam said that test of the virus can not be done in Bangladesh due to lack of facilities.

    Thus a visiting team of different international agencies including the World Health Organization(WHO) has collected blood and tissue samples from the patients when visiting several affected villages, said he.

    Dr Jahangir Hossain of ICDDR, also a member of the visiting team of experts, said the samples will be sent to Atlanta, USA fordiagnosis at the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

    "We haven't been able to identify the disease but we are sure it's viral," he said.

    He did not rule out the possibility of contraction from local poultry or other farm animals, but ruled out malaria, meningitis or encephalitis.

    The expert team, however, would rather wait until CDC's diagnostic report is at hand before making any comment on the spread of the mysterious disease, added Hossain.

    When contacted the health directorate under the health ministry,Dr Jahanara, one of the directors said they have sent an expert team to the village Goalanda.

    "We would get some ideas about the disease whenever they would return," she said.

    A report from Goalanda said fears overshadowed the village where four of Saturday's DMCH victims came from, and some panic-stricken villagers even fled their homes. Enditem

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