Published Date: 2012-06-05 22:15:49
Subject: PRO/MBDS> Undiagnosed illness - Thailand (02): Uttaradit, mycoplasma
Archive Number: 20120605.1269
UNDIAGNOSED ILLNESS - THAILAND (02): UTTARADIT, MYCOPLASMA
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Source: Bangkok Post [edited]
A total of 15 soldiers have fallen ill after contracting an acute lung
infection and 125 others have been kept under medical observation at the
Phraya Phichai Dabhak army camp in Uttaradit.
The Phraya Phichai Dabhak Army Camp Hospital where the soldiers were
being treated had stopped admitting outpatients and the whole facility
was placed under quarantine last week [week of 28 May 2012].
Hospital director Col Kuldanai Supim said the hospital is expected to
reopen today [5 Jun 2012] as the 15 affected soldiers had recovered
steadily, while test results showed the 125 others had not contracted
Col Ram Rangsin, an epidemiologist attached to the army, said laboratory
tests on the ill soldiers showed that the infection was caused by
mycoplasma -- a bacterium that can be contracted through sneezing or
coughing or close contact with infected people.
Thailand already has a medicine -- clarithromycin -- for treatment of
the disease, Col Ram said.
The doctor added the soldiers had not contracted any severe acute
respiratory diseases such as bird flu, as had been feared and rumoured,
The 1st case detected was a native of Tron district. He was diagnosed
with the illness on [29 May 2012]. A day later [30 May 2012], 3 more
army privates at the camp came down with the flu-like symptoms. The
soldiers had a high fever, sore throat, and cough.
The Royal Thai Army Medical Department ordered 140 troopers and their
trainers examined. It found that 15 of them had contracted the disease.
The discovery led to the hospital being sealed and quarantined.
[The newswire above provides an update on the outbreak of undiagnosed
illness at the Phraya Phichai Dabhak army camp in Uttaradit province,
which PRO/MBDS has reported previously (see Undiagnosed illness -
Thailand: Uttaradit, RFI 20120604.1252). The investigation indicates the
etiologic agent responsible for the outbreak was _Mycoplasma
pneumoniae_. Of 140 soldiers under quarantine, 15 soldiers had
contracted the lung infection while the other 125 had not. Cases were
treated with clarithromycin and recovered.
Mycoplasma pneumonia is a type of atypical pneumonia. It is caused by
the bacteria _Mycoplasma pneumoniae_. This type of pneumonia usually
affects people younger than 40. People at highest risk for mycoplasma
pneumonia include those living or working in crowded areas such as
schools and homeless shelters, although many people who contract
mycoplasma pneumonia have no identifiable risk factor. The symptoms are
generally mild and appear over a period of 1 to 3 weeks. They may become
more severe in some people. Common symptoms include chest pain, cough,
usually dry and not bloody, excessive sweating, fever, headache, and
sore throat. Antibiotics that work against _Mycoplasma_ include
macrolides, quinolones and tetracyclines. In untreated adults, cough and
weakness can persist for up to a month (see
For maps showing Thailand's regions, see
http://www.thailand-map.net/thailand_provinces/; for provinces, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_Thailand. For the
interactive HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Thailand with links to other
recent ProMED-mail and PRO/MBDS postings, see
http://healthmap.org/r/2vwG. - Mod.SCM]