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Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

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  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    Another perspective from another source.

    http://www.zimdiaspora.com/index.php...tips&Itemid=18

    [snip]

    Ms Gombami, MDC-T Senator and also women’s league chairperson for Bulawayo province died in Gokwe on Monday last week after a short illness. She was 48.

    Leave a comment:


  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    http://www.promedmail.org/

    Published Date: 2012-01-01 12:54:35
    Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (77): Zimbabwe, NOT
    Archive Number: 20120101.0002

    AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN (77): ZIMBABWE, NOT
    ******************************************

    A ProMED-mail post
    http://www.promedmail.org
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases
    http://www.isid.org

    Date: Sat 31 Dec 2011Source: The Standard, Zimbabwe [edited]http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/33327-madzorera-denies-bird-flu-death.html


    Health and Child Welfare Minister denies bird flu death
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Mystery surrounds the cause of death of MDC-T [Movement for a
    Democratic Change - Tsvangirai] legislator. News reports said that the
    senator had died of avian influenza or bird flu, but health expects
    deny there any cases of the disease in the country. Health and Child
    Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera said the government had not raised
    any alerts of an outbreak of the disease as they had not received
    reports of a possible epidemic. “The Epidemics and Disease Control
    centre has not informed me about any outbreak, but they are closed and
    we can only know that after the holidays,” he said. Madzorera said
    he could not comment further as he had not received any news of an
    outbreak.

    Officials from the Health Ministry also revealed that there were no
    known cases of the virus in Zimbabwe or in the region. They said it
    was highly unlikely that there could have been an outbreak in the
    country. The only recently recorded cases, the officials said, were
    reported in Hong Kong and a spread to Zimbabwe at this stage was
    highly improbable.

    But the family of the late senator insist that post-mortem results had
    indicated that the deceased senator had been afflicted with the deadly
    avian virus. The Standard could not have access to the post-mortem
    report. To add to the mystery, a Kadoma doctor reportedly declined to
    carry out a postmortem and instead referred the family to a hospital
    in Harare. “We were told that she had a swelling in her stomach
    because there was water in her lungs, but this did not make sense to
    us,” an informed source said. The source said before her death, the
    senator was down with influenza, she however developed an unnamed
    infection in her chest.

    In the past Zimbabwe’s health systems have been reported to be
    incapable of handling epidemics such as bird and swine flu. In 2010 it
    was reported that some children in Tsholotsho were affected by swine
    flu. However, results on whether it was actually swine flu were
    inconclusive.

    (By Nqaba Matshazi)

    --
    Communicated by:
    ProMEd-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

    [As inferred in the previous post, there is no evidence, other than an
    inconclusive autopsy report, to establish the cause of death of the
    Zimbabwean senator. While avian A/(H5N1) virus infection cannot be
    excluded, in the absence of any laboratory investigation there is
    nothng to support this diagnosis, particularly as the disease has not
    been reported in Zimbabwean poultry
    . - Mod.CP.

    A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
    http://healthmap.org/r/1AY4]

    ---------

    The previous post:

    www.promedmail.org

    Published Date: 2011-12-31 17:44:36
    Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (76): Zimbabwe, human susp.
    Archive Number: 20111231.3715

    AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN (76): ZIMBABWE, HUMAN SUSPECTED
    ************************************************** *****

    A ProMED-mail post
    http://www.promedmail.org
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases
    http://www.isid.org

    Date: Fri 30 Dec 2011Source: Daily News, Nehanda Radio, Zimbabwe [edited]http://nehandaradio.com/2011/12/30/mdc-t-senator-died-of-bird-flu/


    Senator died of bird flu
    ------------------------
    BULAWAYO: The woman mainstream MDC-T [Movement for Democratic Change
    – Tsvangirai] senator for Mabutweni has died of bird flu, a family
    spokesperson told journalists at her house in Mpopoma high density
    suburb [of Bulawayo] on Wednesday [28 Dec 2011]. A family spokesperson
    Samuel Gombami who is brother to the senator's husband said that
    postmortem results released on Tuesday in Harare shows that she died
    of bird flu.

    “We were finally given postmortem results and they show that she was
    taken away by bird flu. We still can’t believe this as a family, we
    are in still shock,” said a relative. Bird flu also known as avian
    influenza is a contagious disease of birds, caused by avian influenza
    (A) virus. The outbreak of avian influenza of most concern began in
    poultry in South Korea in mid-December 2003. The Mabutweni senator was
    buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo. Prime Minister Morgan
    Tsvangirai and dozens of MPs and senators attended the funeral.The
    48-year-old senator died after complaining of disorientation and
    dizziness while travelling home to Bulawayo from a funeral in Gokwe on
    Boxing Day. She was rushed to a hospital in Kadoma where she died.
    [cut]

    (By Pindai Dube)

    --
    Communicated by:
    ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

    [This report was also relayed to ProMED-mail by Nati Elkin
    whose assistance is welcomed. Confirmation of
    the initial diagnosis of avian influenza is awaited. The description
    of the victim's condition on admission to hospital is not sufficiently
    specific to confirm the dignosis of influenza virus infection on
    symptoms alone. Laboratory confirmation that the death of the patient
    was the result of avian A/(H5N1) influenza virus infection is
    necessary
    .

    Likewise information on the prevalence of avian influenza virus in
    wild birds or poultry in the Bulawayo area is lacking, as is
    iformation on the extent of the victim's possible contact with
    diseased birds. Zimbabwe is not among the 15 countries that have
    reported human cases of avian A (H5N1) influenza virus infection in
    the past.

    The location of Bulawayo ca be found by accessing the the HealthMap
    interactive map of Zimbabwe at: http://healthmap.org/r/1AY4. -
    Mod.CP]]

    Leave a comment:


  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    Regardless of whether this case turns out to be bird flu or not, there is something additionally odd about these reports. H5N1 has never been found in Zimbabwe, even in poultry. Why would this case even raise the suspicion of H5N1?

    Did the case have a severe untreatable viral pneumonia, as the initial H1N1 cases in Mexico which raised a bird flu alarm? Not according to any of the descriptions above. We have several different symptomatic descriptions here, but nothing that really looks like atypical pneumonia to raise the issue of bird flu with no exposure history.

    Did the case have any contact with sick or dead poultry? None of the articles have suggested this.

    Did the case travel to an H5N1-enzootic region? No indication of this either.

    Did the case have contact with anyone else with flu-like symptoms? Although she did attend a funeral, there is no reason yet to think that funeral was flu-related.

    Is there any evidence of a comprehensive battery of tests to determine her death that might simply have come back positive for bird flu? Other than bird flu and "stress", no other potential diagnoses have been mentioned in any article.

    The only reason I can think that bird flu would even be suspected here would be political. The victim was a member of an opposition party. Would it blame or shame the ruling party to have an opposition party member die of bird flu? Could they accuse the ruling party of causing her death? If they simply wanted to accuse President Mugabe of killing this woman, there are a lot simpler things they could have suggested (cholera, deliberate poisoning, etc.) that would be easier to believe rather than something exotic like bird flu. Could they have been intentionally trying to set off panic? Possibly.

    I am really having trouble imagining what in this case could have raised the issue of bird flu.

    Leave a comment:


  • sharon sanders
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu

    Originally posted by tetano View Post
    This symptomatic description of an illness lasting 20 minutes does not sound like influenza at all

    There are cases of sudden deaths due to influenza, which I reported
    Yes, there is historical evidence of sudden deaths due to influenza. Here is the link to Tetano's thread:

    http://www.flutrackers.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=161808

    Leave a comment:


  • Giuseppe
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    If the case will be finally diagnosed as an avian influenza virus infection, it could be useful to track the phylogeny of this (so far unknown) virus. In South Africa an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5 is ongoing in southern regions (mainly affecting ostriches). It seems that S.African veterinary authorities have some troubles in correctly characterize the virus involved, sometimes indicated as an H6, other an H5 by PCR.

    Clearly, more information are needed to dispel the doubts around this strange case.

    Leave a comment:


  • Giuseppe
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    Originally posted by alert View Post
    The article above also mentions:

    To add to the mystery, a Kadoma doctor reportedly declined to carry out a postmortem and instead referred the family to a hospital in Harare.

    “We were told that she had a swelling in her stomach because there was water in her lungs, but this did not make sense to us,” an informed source said.

    The source said before her death, the senator was down with influenza, she however developed an unnamed infection in her chest.
    The consequence of an heart failure is a blockade in gastric perfusion and possibly the intestine as well. Sometimes, stroke patients suffer for aspecific gastrointestinal disturbations, such as nausea, vomiting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laidback Al
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    The Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare site seems to be down at the moment.

    http://www.mohcw.gov.zw/

    Cached copy is uninformative.

    Thanks to Tetano, Alert, Treyfish, Giuseppe, and everyone else for keeping on top of this.
    Last edited by sharon sanders; January 1st, 2012, 08:32 AM. Reason: typo

    Leave a comment:


  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    This is about as clear as mud. If there is some suspicion that the woman could have had an infectious disease, why would you wait under after the holidays to release that information?

    http://www.zimeye.org/?p=43225

    Harare(ZimEye)As authorities in Hong Kong, China culled 17,000 chickens this week following the death of a 39-year -old bus driver diagonised with bird flu, Zimbabwe’s Health Minister has expressed that he is not aware of any disease outbreak in the country.

    His statement also follows news that a parliamentarian from his own party, MDC-T, died of bird flu this week.

    The Epidemics and Disease Control centre has not informed me about any outbreak, but they are closed and we can only know that after the holidays,” Health minister Henry Madzorera said today.

    This week the MDC-T party’s Bulawayo Women’s Assembly chairperson and Senator for Mabutweni, Gladys Dube Gombami, 48, died of bird flu, according a report by the MDC-T party.


    Not aware of any outbreak...Health Minister - Henry Madzorera
    “We were finally given post mortem results and they show that she was taken away by bird flu,” said Samuel Gombami, a family spokesperson of the Gombamis.

    Hon Gombami died after complaining of dizziness.

    According to a relative, the moment of illness and death took place in less than 20 minutes. She was travelling home to Bulawayo from a funeral in Gokwe.

    There are concerns following Gombami’s death that there could be an outbreak of bird flu in the country.

    The most notorious strain of bird flu, H5N1, has a high level of mortality, killing up to 60% of humans infected with it.

    After finding infected chicken carcases at wholesale markets, in China, the government there have banned imports and the sale of live chickens for three weeks. In ZImbabwe however there are worrying scenes developing as there has been no public official word from the responsible authorities. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)

    Leave a comment:


  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    The article above also mentions:

    To add to the mystery, a Kadoma doctor reportedly declined to carry out a postmortem and instead referred the family to a hospital in Harare.

    “We were told that she had a swelling in her stomach because there was water in her lungs, but this did not make sense to us,” an informed source said.

    The source said before her death, the senator was down with influenza, she however developed an unnamed infection in her chest.

    Leave a comment:


  • Treyfish
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu - conflicting reports

    <TABLE class=contentpaneopen><TBODY><TR><TD class=contentheading width="100%">Madzorera denies bird flu death </TD><TD class=buttonheading width="100%" align=right></TD><TD class=buttonheading width="100%" align=right></TD><TD class=buttonheading width="100%" align=right></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=contentpaneopen><TBODY><TR><TD class=createdate vAlign=top>Saturday, 31 December 2011 18:26 </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>BY NQABA MATSHAZI
    MYSTERY surrounds the cause of death of MDC-T legislator, Gladys Gombami.
    News reports said she had died of avian influenza or bird flu but health expects deny there any cases of the disease in the country. Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera said the government had not raised any alerts of an outbreak of the disease as they had not received reports of a possible epidemic.

    “The Epidemics and Disease Control centre has not informed me about any outbreak, but they are closed and we can only know that after the holidays,” he said.

    Madzorera said he could not comment further as he had not received any news of an outbreak.

    Officials from the health ministry also revealed that there were no known cases of the virus in Zimbabwe or in the region. They said it was highly unlikely that there could have been an outbreak in the country.

    The only recently recorded cases, the officials said, were reported in Hong Kong and a spread to Zimbabwe at this stage was highly improbable...http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/3...flu-death.html

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Leave a comment:


  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu

    More conflicting information, contradicting many of the above articles as to symptoms and timing. There may also be the suggestion of an accidental overdose here:

    http://www.newsday.co.zw/article/201...ied-of-stress/

    MDC-T senator died of ‘stress’
    Khanyile Mlotshwa, Staff reporter | 2011-12-31 13:23:00
    MDC-T’s Emganwini Senator Siphiwe Ncube told mourners during the burial of her colleague Gladys Gombami that the Mabuthweni senator succumbed to stress induced by internal party fights.
    Addressing thousands of mourners at the funeral service at Mpopoma Methodist Church on Thursday morning, Ncube said Gombami had confided in her two days before her death on Boxing Day that internal party politics had taken a heavy toll on her.

    “I didn’t attend the (MDC-T) national council meeting, but Gladys told me about everything that transpired at the meeting.

    She told me that she was denied a chance to say what she wanted to say and that got her so worried and gave her a terrible headache,” Ncube,” said.

    “She told me that she was admitted at Mpilo Hospital and had been given a lot of tablets.

    “Gladys said, in all her life entire life, she had never been made to take so many tablets.

    “She said she had been given an injection that had her unconscious for nearly three hours.”

    Gombami died on admission at a private clinic in Kadoma shortly after complaining of disorientation and dizziness.

    She was on her way to Bulawayo after attending a relative’s burial in Gokwe. Gombami was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo on Thursday.

    According to her husband, Fanuel Gombami, the post-mortem report released in Harare on Tuesday showed that the late senator had died of bird flu.


    more at above link...
    Last edited by sharon sanders; December 31st, 2011, 07:09 PM. Reason: shortened, added bolding

    Leave a comment:


  • Giuseppe
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu

    An English-Shona online translator is available at: http://www.mashumba.com/default.aspx

    For the influenza word, the translator returns:

    1 English: influenza , n.
    Meaning: an infectious illness which is like a very bad cold, but which causes a fever
    Shona: bembo K; furuwenza ukozoro Z

    1 English: influenza , n.
    Meaning: an infectious illness which is like a very bad cold, but which causes a fever
    Shona: bembo K; furuwenza ukozoro Z

    2 English: influenza , n.
    Meaning: influenza epidemic
    Shona: chigodora Z

    2 English: influenza , n.
    Meaning: influenza epidemic
    Shona: chigodora Z

    (...)
    -
    -----

    Leave a comment:


  • Giuseppe
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu

    90% of population in Zimbabwe speaks Shona Language (see also, Wolfram Alpha, http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i...Language.Shona- )

    Leave a comment:


  • tetano
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: Family reports that MDC-T senator died of bird flu

    This symptomatic description of an illness lasting 20 minutes does not sound like influenza at all

    There are cases of sudden deaths due to influenza, which I reported

    Leave a comment:


  • alert
    replied
    Re: Zimbabwe: MDC-T senator died of bird flu

    Alternatively, "bird flu" could just a be a random explanation suggested by a family member. This symptomatic description of an illness lasting 20 minutes does not sound like influenza at all (the symptoms are suggestive of stroke), and it is unclear whether this area even has the facilities to detect H5N1.

    However, the mention of attendance at a previous funeral is a bit scary...

    http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/news/...ntent=textlink

    A family representative, Mr Samuel Gombami said Hon. Gombami died of bird flu.

    “We were finally given post mortem results and they show that she was taken away by bird flu,” he said. Hon Gombami died after complaining of dizziness. According to a relative, the moment of illness and death took place in less than 20 minutes. She was travelling home to Bulawayo from a funeral in Gokwe.

    ---------

    http://www.radiovop.com/index.php/na...-mourners.html

    [snip]

    Family spokesperson Samuel Gombami said postmortem results released on Tuesday in Harare show that she died of bird flu.

    ------

    And a Zimbabwean forum discussing this using "bird flu" and "swine flu" interchangably:

    http://forum.newzimbabwe.com/Index.p...job-this-time/

    Leave a comment:

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