An Outbreak of Pyomyositis in a Large Refugee Camp in Thailand

Dale FanneyPrairie Clinic, S.C., Prairie du Sac, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Wisconsin 53578, Israel

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Leonard C. ThomasPrairie Clinic, S.C., Prairie du Sac, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Wisconsin 53578, Israel

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Eleazar SchwartzPrairie Clinic, S.C., Prairie du Sac, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Wisconsin 53578, Israel

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During a 2-month period, 17 cases of pyomyositis were seen in the hospital population of a large refugee camp for Cambodians in Thailand. The temporal clustering of the cases suggests an epidemic pattern. Patients in this series were generally young and otherwise healthy. All had gram-positive cocci demonstrated in abscess pus, and all responded to surgical drainage. Fourteen (82%) of the cases were initially misdiagnosed by volunteer physicians who were unfamiliar with the disease. The authors suggest that a mosquito-borne virus predisposes to the development of the pyomyositis abcess.

Author Notes

At the time this work was done, the authors were members of the Volunteer Medical Team of the American Refugee Committee, Khao I Dang Holding Center for Kampucheans, Thailand.

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