Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2001 - Acute neurological syndrome in Bangladesh - Update 2

05 June 2001

Disease Outbreak Reported

The international team* has returned from the site of the outbreak in Meherpur district (see previous report). The team carried out detailed surveys in the affected area, investigating a cluster of deaths that occurred between 26 April and 10 May 2001.  An extensive search revealed that no new cases had occurred after mid-May. Laboratory tests are underway to try to determine the etiology of the outbreak.

The team recommended that surveillance should be maintained to detect any recurrence of a similar nature in Meherpur or elsewhere in the country.   It was further recommended that the capacity to detect and respond rapidly to outbreaks should be strengthened at both national and district levels through developing guidelines, establishing and training a rapid response team, and maintaining appropriate supplies and equipment for rapid response.

* staff from the Bangladesh Ministry of Health, WHO staff from headquarters and the India country office, three epidemiologists from the Field Epidemiology Training Programme in Thailand - partners in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, and staff from the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB).

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