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Avian flu like outbreak in Manipur; 22 hospitalized

Medical team collecting blood samples from villagers, Tuesday.
Correspondent IMPHAL, JAN 6:
Published on 7 Jan. 2009 1:36 AM IST
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More than 22 people from Misao Lhavom village under Churachandpur district have been hospitalized with unknown disease but with similar symptoms to that of avian influenza during the last 24-hours, official sources said Tuesday. Health officials have been on avian flu alert following recovery of dead domestic fowls in the same village caused by a disease unbeknown to the medical officers. A total of 16 people in the age group of 15 to 55 years were hospitalized at a government hospital in Churachanpur district yesterday at around 11 pm after they complained of severe headache, cough, while some felt unconscious after vomiting, the symptoms of which were similar to avian flu. Six more people were admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning on the recommendation of health officials who reached the village to take stock of the situation. Doctors first assumed the symptoms to be that of “Malaria Optimal” and recommend blood test for confirmation of the same. Finding negative results of the blood test, a team of medical officers led by the district chief medical officer, Dr. Thang Khan Piang was rushed to the village. The findings suggested that the disease was “very close to avian influenza”. “We found the symptom to be very similar to the avian influenza as many chicken were also found dead during the last few days in the village” said Dr. Piang. Villagers said 12 chickens died yesterday. The medical team also collected blood samples of the villagers and fowls to further investigate and detect the type of disease that was spreading like an epidemic in the village. The CMO said that the blood samples would be sent to authorized testing laboratories after consulting with the higher authorities of the state health department.

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