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    Saturday, September 18, 2004

    Singapore's Soil: Singapore is reporting a sharp increase in a disease caused by soil-borne bacteria that is also a potential bioterror weapon:

    Authorities in Singapore have expressed concern about the rising death toll from the tropical disease melioidosis.

    Twenty-three of the 57 people diagnosed with the soil-born disease from January to July died, health officials said.

    This pointed to a mortality rate of 47% - three times as much as with the deadly respiratory infection Sars.

    The high death toll led officials to investigate whether Singapore may have been targeted by a biological warfare attack - but this was ruled out.

    Melioidosis is listed by the US government as a potential bacteriological weapon.

    ....Singapore has an annual average of 67 cases and 12 deaths from the disease.


    More about the disease here. It's actually very common in Southeast Asia.
     

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