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  • Angola: Mystery illness hits Caungula district

    http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/e...562b16d0e.html

    10/13/10 9:59 AM

    Luanda
    Possible illness hitting Caungula District revealed


    Luanda - The medical commission created by the chancellery of the state-run Agostinho Neto University (UAN) suspects that the illness that has been hitting Caungula District, in the eastern Lunda-Norte Province, is the tropical Tropical Spatic Paraparesis, ANGOP has learnt.



    This was said in a press conference by the dean of the Medicine Faculty with UAN and co-ordinator of the mentioned commission, Miguel Bettencourt, that travelled to the locality.



    "In a clinical assessment made mainly in the villages of Monakaje and Lukwokeza, at Caungula District, it was concluded that the disease is the Tropical Spatic Paraparesis, an illness that was already reported in Mozambique and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).



    At this moment, it is not possible to say what is the cause of this illness, although there are indications that it is caused by the bitter manioc that contains cyanide, a chemical and toxic element, as the HTLV virus, as the causes of the illness.


    The expert said that the illness is characterised by the reduction of muscular strength of the arms, marked by a rigidity of the legs, hindering thus the movements.



    "This situation is worrying and with serious social and economic results, particularly in Monacaje village, in which it was recorded 40 per cent of the cases, among children and adults", he explained.



    Samples of the bloods of patients, as well as of the manioc, have already been sent to a laboratory in South Africa.

  • #2
    Re: Angola: Mystery illness hits Caungula district

    http://www.tpa.ao/artigo.aspx?sid=e2...PHc1WRnZL7dyuU

    Portuguese to English translation
    10.13.2010 / 10:21 / TPA
    Cassava could be the cause of the disease
    In the province of Lunda Norte there is a disease that currently affects more than 50 people in the town of Caungula, it did move a team of researchers from the medical faculty of the University Agostinho Neto was headed by its dean in the region to ascertain what in fact this to happen. It was thus diagnosed the illness as tropical spastic paraplegia, is a viral infection, slowly progressive spinal cord that causes weakness in lower limbs. Disease acts in the muscles of the lower limbs accompanied by pains that hamper mobility.

    The disease is caused by virus type I virus human T cell leukemia HTLVI, this is a retro virus that can cause a type of leukemia known as tropical spastic paraparesis. The disease can be spread by sexual contact by use of contaminated needles or from mother to child through the placenta or through breast milk.

    The origin of the disease has not been determined, but investigators are associated with the consumption of bitter cassava. The research team took samples of blood, some people infected and bitter cassava samples that were sent to a specialized laboratory in South Africa

    Miguel Bettencourt head of the research team said that this disease may have as causes the consumption of a specific type of Cassava, also known as "bitter cassava or by infection with HTLV 1, which primarily affects adults, a situation reported in Brazil. There are still important data of Consanguinity (relationship) is high, this is also a factor that causes this disease. Also according to Michael Bettencourt this disease emerged after 1992, when some popular returning from Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the bitter cassava.
    We already reported 45 new cases, at places Monacage with 11 cases, and Lucoquesa is where the situation is considered worrisome.

    According to the literature of Africa, the disease has been recorded in Mozambique and the DRC.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Angola: Mystery illness hits Caungula district

      http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/p...7b31f7281.html


      Lunda Norte
      Diagnosed more than forty cases of spastic paralysis in Caungula

      Caungula - Forty-five cases of spastic paralysis were diagnosed by the health services in the municipality of Caungula, Lunda Norte province in the period from June to September, said to Angop the head of local health, I defeated Tony Lutxato.



      According to the health technician, a disease with unknown origin, is affecting children and adults aged 5 to 40 years.



      According to him, the disease recorded in the localities of the city of Caungula has symptoms of severe pain in the spine, high fever and chill that causes the loss of strength in the lower limbs and subsequent depletion of the legs.



      The source said that the disease started in villages near the border with the DRC and is spread quickly in the localities of the city of Caungula.





      Moreover, adding the case was already informed the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Lunda Norte and so far have not been determined the causative agents of spastic paralysis.



      In turn, the WHO representative in Lunda Norte, Walter Manuel Firmino, said that three years ago a national technical team has worked in health Caungula city of Luanda and took samples of water and cassava suspected agents for laboratory analysis so far no response.



      Walter Manuel said the cases filed are different for acute flaccid paralysis caused by polio, because it affects children and adults.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Angola: Mystery illness hits Caungula district

        It is extremely unclear what is going on here, but it has been going on for a long time.

        It seems that they suspect this may involve a combination of toxic cassava, and the HTLV-1 virus.

        http://jornaldeangola.sapo.ao/18/0/i..._enfermidade_1

        Portuguese to English translation
        Medical research detects illness
        Peter John | - Today
        Font Size Print Send Send Article by Email
        Your Name: E-mail address: Comment:

        Miguel Bettencourt when observing a child victim of the disease


        Photo: School of Medicine UAN
        Doctors of the Faculty of Medicine of the University Agostinho Neto identified the disease affecting the population of Caungula in the province of Lunda-Norte, illness, known worldwide as "tropical spastic paraplegia" and causing paralysis.
        The information was disclosed yesterday in a press conference in Luanda by the Dean of Faculty of Medicine of the University Agostinho Neto, Miguel Bettencourt Matthew, who said there was suspicion that the disease is caused by consumption of a type of bitter cassava much appreciated by local population.
        Miguel Bettencurt Matthew, who called the press conference to explain the investigations surrounding the disease that affects the population of the municipality of Caungula, said experts also suggest the possibility of disease being caused by the virus, "HTLV-1."
        "This disease is characterized by a decrease in peripheral motor neurons in the spinal cord, which leads to a variety of symptoms including gait disturbance, lower limb muscle weakness, back pain and can lead to the inability of the sick person," said Miguel Bettencurt Matthew.
        Dean, School of Medicine said that blood samples were collected and the food product and site were sent to a laboratory in South Africa, so that the results arrive in the country, said, "we will act according to the results." Matthew Michael Bettencourt said that given the peculiarity of the disease, the situation is considered serious for the local community, the fact of living through subsistence farming.
        "We must be mobilized to help the people on the ground that depend solely on agriculture," said Miguel Bettencourt Matt. academic ensured that, at places and Lucoquesa Monacage, he was diagnosed, the situation is very worrying because the disease reaches children and adults. "
        Miguel Bettencourt Matthew revealed the existence of "a case in which all family members are affected, which makes us very worried about this family a few years." Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, stressed that, until yesterday, were reported 45 people sick, which led the research team to leave a prescription that will lessen the pain that patients experience.

        Symptoms of the disease

        A "tropical spastic paraplegia" can be spread by sexual contact or else by use of contaminated needles. It can also occur from mother to child through the placenta or through breast milk.
        Symptoms may begin years after the initial infection. In its response to HTLV-I, occasionally the immune system harms the nervous tissue, causing symptoms. The weakness and stiffness in both legs and gradually get worse slowly. It is likely the partial loss of sensation in the feet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Angola: Mystery illness hits Caungula district

          Apparently these are the two suspected causes.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropica...ic_paraparesis

          Tropical spastic paraparesis

          Tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP), also known as HTLV-associated myelopathy or chronic progressive myelopathy, is an infection of the spinal cord by Human T-lymphotropic virus resulting in paraparesis, weakness of the legs. As the name suggests, it is most common in tropical regions, including the Caribbean and Africa.

          -------------

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konzo

          Konzo is an epidemic paralytic disease first described by G. Trolli in 1938[1], who discovered it amongst the Kwango of the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The outbreaks are associated with several weeks of almost exclusive consumption of insufficiently processed bitter cassava.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Angola: Mystery illness hits Caungula district

            http://www.promedmail.org/pls/apex/f..._ID:1000,85325

            Archive Number 20101015.3739
            Published Date 15-OCT-2010
            Subject PRO/EDR> Tropical spastic paraparesis - Angola: (LN)


            TROPICAL SPASTIC PARAPARESIS - ANGOLA: (LUNDA NORTE)
            ************************************************** **
            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: Wed 13 Oct 2010
            Source: AllAfrica, Angola Press Agency (Angop) report [edited]
            <http://allafrica.com/stories/201010130688.html>

            Angola: possible illness hitting Caungula District revealed
            -----------------------------------------------------------
            The medical commission created by the Chancellery of the state run
            Agostinho Neto University (UAN) suspects that the illness that has been
            hitting Caungula District, in the eastern Lunda-Norte Province, is tropical
            spastic paraparesis [TSP], ANGOP [Angola Press Agency] has learnt. This was
            stated in a press conference by the dean of the Medicine Faculty with UAN
            and coordinator of the mentioned commission, Miguel Bettencourt, who
            travelled to the locality.

            "In a clinical assessment made mainly in the villages of Monakaje and
            Lukwokeza, at Caungula District, it was concluded that the disease tropical
            spastic paraparesis (TSP), an illness that has already been reported in
            Mozambique and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). At this
            moment, it is not possible to say what is the cause of this illness,
            although there are indications that it is caused [either] by the bitter
            manioc which contains cyanide, a chemical and toxic element, [or] HTLV
            [human T-cell lymphotropic virus] infection."

            The expert said that the illness is characterised by reduction of muscular
            strength of the arms, marked by a rigidity of the legs, hindering thus the
            movements. "This situation is worrying and with serious social and economic
            results, particularly in Monacaje village, were 40 per cent of the cases
            were recorded, among children and adults," he explained.

            Samples of the bloods of patients, as well as of the manioc, have already
            been sent to a laboratory in South Africa.

            --
            communicated by:
            Thomas James Allen
            <tjallen@pipeline.com>

            [Tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP) predominantly affects the spinal cord,
            resulting in an upper motor neuron syndrome, mostly affecting the lower
            limbs. TSP results in inflammation, demyelination, and necrotic lesions in
            the spinal cord. It is a progressive disease involving the degeneration of
            neurons in the spinal cord, leading to a gradual paralysis of the lower limbs.

            The cause of TSP was obscure until the mid-1980s, when an important
            association was established between the human retrovirus -- human T-cell
            lymphotropic virus type 1 (also known as HTLV-1) -- and TSP. TSP is now
            called HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis or
            HAM/TSP. The HTLV-1 retrovirus is thought to cause at least 80 per cent of
            the cases of HAM/TSP by impairing the immune system. In addition to
            neurological symptoms of weakness and muscle stiffness or spasms, in rare
            cases individuals with HAM/TSP also exhibit uveitis (inflammation of the
            uveal tract of the eye), arthritis (inflammation of one or more joints),
            pulmonary lymphocytic alveolitis (inflammation of the lung), polymyositis
            (an inflammatory muscle disease), keratoconjunctivitis sicca (persistent
            dryness of the cornea and conjunctiva), and infectious dermatitis
            (inflammation of the skin). The other serious complication of HTLV-1
            infection is the development of adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma. Nervous
            system and blood-related complications occur only in a very small
            proportion of infected individuals, while most remain largely without
            symptoms throughout their lives.

            The HTLV-1 virus is transmitted person-to-person via infected cells:
            breast-feeding by mothers who are seropositive (in other words, have high
            levels of virus antibodies in their blood), sharing infected needles during
            intravenous drug use, or having sexual relations with a seropositive
            partner. Less than 2 per cent of HTLV-1 seropositive carriers will become
            HAM/TSP patients. HAM/TSP is a progressive disease, but it is rarely fatal.
            Most individuals live for several decades after the diagnosis. Their
            prognosis improves if they take steps to prevent urinary tract infection
            and skin sores, and if they participate in physical and occupational
            therapy programs (see
            <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tropical_spastic_paraparesis/tropical_spastic_paraparesis.htm>).

            Populations at risk include those in areas where the HTLV-1 virus is
            endemic such as the Caribbean, equatorial Africa, South America, the
            Seychelles, and southern Japan. It is estimated that 10-20 million people
            worldwide are infected with HTLV-1.

            In the case of the outbreak of illness in Caungula District, in the eastern
            Lunda-Norte Province of Angola it is uncertain whether the outbreak can be
            attributed to HTLV-1 infection or is a consequence of manioc poisoning.


            Cassava [manioc] is the 3rd largest source of carbohydrates for human food
            in the world. Cassava is classified as "sweet" or "bitter" depending on the
            level of toxic cyanogenic glucosides; improper preparation of bitter
            cassava causes a disease called konzo. Nevertheless, farmers often prefer
            the bitter varieties because they deter pests, animals, and thieves. Konzo
            is a paralytic disease among very poor rural populations whose diets for
            the weeks and months prior to onset consist almost exclusively of roots of
            bitter cassava.

            The outcome of diagnostic testing in South Africa is awaited.

            Comment

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