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EID Updates

EID Updates:

Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases,
Region of the Americas

Vol. 2, No. 25—18 August 2004
Main Updates index


Hantavirus in Uruguay, Department of Rocha, near the Brazilian Border

On 16 August 2004, the Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay reported the occurrence of three cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), all from the Department of Rocha in the area bordering on Brazil.

The first case came from a consultation made on 12 August involving a 38-year-old man and evolved with a severe respiratory profile followed by death. Serological testing resulted positive for hantavirus, the patient having been camping outdoors to go fishing and hunt nutrias (Myocastor coipus) in the area around Bañados de Arroyo San Miguel (near Chui and the Brazilian Border), Rocha Department, Uruguay.

The other two cases involve the man’s two children (ages 6 and 12), who on 12 August were brought in for medical attention, one for acute respiratory syndrome requiring hospitalization and the other with a flu-like profile. Serological testing on both of them resulted positive for hantavirus. Both children are recovering.

The Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay has initiated public-awareness activities for the general public on prevention and control measures for hantavirus.

Source: Report to PAHO from the Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay.

Avian Influenza: Situation in Viet Nam

On 12 August 2004, the Ministry of Health of Viet Nam reported to WHO that three persons had died from avian influenza (bird flu), in the first officially reported cases since last February.

This information concerns a group of patients admitted to Vietnamese hospitals between 19 July and 8 August. Two of them were registered in the northern province of Ha Tay and the third in the southern province of Hau Giang.

In two of these cases, additional laboratory tests identified strain H5N1 as the causative agent. With the objective of determining whether this H5N1 strain remains entirely of avian origin, gene-sequencing studies are being carried out in a WHO Collaborating Center.

The government has taken a series of measures aimed at controlling the disease in poultry and at preventing new human infections. WHO is collaborating with the country to assess the present risk to public health and to strengthen the country’s capacity to detect human cases.

Sources and Additional Information: See the website of the World Health Organization/WHO, Geneva, Disease Outbreak News:

Updated List of Weekly Epidemiological Reports for the Americas

PAHO has updated its list of epidemiological weekly bulletins, which it regularly publishes for user reference. It also contains links and/or information on the subregional networks involved in disseminating this information.

Updated List of EID Related Sites

PAHO has updated its EID links page, which contains links to WHO and their EID pages, CDC, NIH, Eurosurveillance, ISID, Pro-Med Mail, etc.