Date: Thu 27 Jul 2017
Source: China.org [edited]
A total of 2 people, a father and a son, died within 48 hours at the Clinic for Infective Diseases here [Macedonia] after suffering from symptoms of an undiagnosed illness, Macedonian health authorities revealed on [Wed 26 Jul 2017]. The 2 were admitted to hospital with high fever and vomiting, and their condition quickly worsened.
The father and son lived in the village of Simnica, near the western Macedonian town Gostivar. At least 4 other inhabitants of the same village have been hospitalized with light symptoms of the apparently contagious disease.
According to the director of the Commission for the Prevention of Contagious Diseases, Zvonko Milenkovic, there is no need to raise the alarm among the citizens. "In this specific case, it is certainly not a disease with a high degree of transmission among humans. This is the reason that I don't see any need to create panic or insecurity among the people," Milenkovic told Xinhua in Skopje on [Wed 26 Jul 2017].
The authorities suspect the infectious disease might be a dangerous hemorrhagic fever transmitted by ticks and rodents, or a case of the mosquito-born West Nile virus.
One of the reasons the disease has yet to be determined is the lack of the needed reagents at the country's cash-strapped Institute for Public Health, Macedonian media revealed. The institute's financial situation has been poor and its accounts have been blocked for some time due to unpaid electricity bills. "Aside from all the difficulties that the institute has faced in recent period, we managed to get the reagents. We expect the results from the analysis by tomorrow afternoon," the institute's director Shaban Memeti said to web portal Nova TV.
[Not very much history or clinical description of the illness is given for the 2 men who died or the others who are more mildly affected; but for some reason "authorities" suspect tick-borne hemorrhagic fever. So there may be a history of tick exposure and hemorrhagic manifestations. ProMED-mail would appreciate more information from knowledgeable sources about these cases.
Simnica, with a population of 430 residents, is a village in the municipality of Gostivar, in northwestern Macedonia
[The report mentions ticks, suggesting that the authorities might suspect Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. A hantavirus could possibly be involved, including Dobrava-Belgrade or Seoul viruses. These hantaviruses do not involve arthropods in their transmission to humans. Clearly, a thorough laboratory work up is needed to determine the etiology responsible for these cases. - ProMed Mod. TY]
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