HIV like symptoms – not a virus

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The Disease Control Department is seeking to ease public fears over a disease found in Thailand with HIV-like symptoms, saying it is not contagious.

The disease, identified by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine last Thursday, has been found among Asian adults who built antibodies that stopped their immune functions.

The NIH studied more than 200 people mainly from Thailand and Taiwan after the disease, recorded in 2004, was most commonly found in the two countries.

Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai, department deputy chief, said the public should not panic because the disease will not pass from person to person.

The department is studying in detail the medical report on the disease, which is called “adult-onset immunodeficiency syndrome”, and expects to have a clearer understanding of the syndrome within three days, Dr Suwanchai said.

The disease is not caused by a virus, though it resembled HIV in that it weakens human bodies, making them prone to infection with other diseases. – Bangkok Post