Thursday, August 23, 2012

mysterious new disease has left scores of people in Asia and some in the U.S. with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV

The patients' immune systems become damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs as healthy people do. What triggers this is unknown but the disease does not seem to be contagious.
It appears to be another kind of acquired immune deficiency that is not inherited and occurs in adults.

However it doesn't spread the way AIDs does through a virus, said Dr Sarah Browne, a scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institute of Health.

She helped lead the study with researchers in Thailand and Taiwan where most of the cases have been found since 2004. Their report is in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

'This is absolutely fascinating. I've seen probably at least three patients in the last 10 years or so' who might have had this, said Dr. Dennis Maki, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Read More