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Old 06-17-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
Pablo Escobar
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Default Lethal in 12 hours bug in Thailand?

Article positions this as a poisoning, however, more likely, its a very lethal bug.

Two sisters from Canada, arrive at tropical paradise, Phi Phi, checked in hotel on Tuesday, went out for a bit, came back. Wed, they never left the room. Thurs, the house cleaner knocked on their door, no answer. On Friday, staff used master key to open the door and found them dead.

Quote:
'There was a lot of vomit in the room, and both bodies showed similar signs [of trauma]. They had skin lesions and it seemed that they had bled from the gums. Also, their fingernails and toenails were blue,' Col Somboon told the newspaper.
Right Geography, right symptoms. And the bonus quote, "In a similar case in May 2009, an American woman and a Norwegian woman died after suffering severe vomiting and dehydration at a Phi Phi guesthouse. The cause of death was never determined."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1y3iQGpCJ

On a side note, while I disliked Caonacl on a general level, I do miss his fun stuff. This subforum, his favorite, has been deader than a doornail since his departure.

<waves at the Caonacl> Hi there!
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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I miss him too!

Thanks for posting this. Weird cases. I remember all kinds of speculation regarding the earlier ones. Really serious 'food poisoning', allthough i'm not sure that's what it is.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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Why did Cao leave ? I noticed after you said ..
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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A while ago I caught a story on this. These two women represent the 5th & 6th similar cases in Thailand. Sudden onset, rapid progression & death.

Let's see what the medical detectives can dig up.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #5
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Well, speculation that it could have come from an improperly prepared meal of cassava exists, however, it doesn't account for the lesions and bleeding.

In addition, accidental rat poison, cyanide, would have a few, but not all of the desribed symptoms.

Finally, bed bug poisons, chlorpyrifos, is also been put out as a possible cause, however, it's accute symptoms also don't match the reported outcomes.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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Is there anything that might point to some sort of Marburg like virus?
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo Escobar View Post
Well, speculation that it could have come from an improperly prepared meal of cassava exists, however, it doesn't account for the lesions and bleeding.

In addition, accidental rat poison, cyanide, would have a few, but not all of the desribed symptoms.

Finally, bed bug poisons, chlorpyrifos, is also been put out as a possible cause, however, it's accute symptoms also don't match the reported outcomes.
Presumably healthy young women dying of dehydration in such a short period of time???
Unless a massive electrolyte imbalance???
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Here's An Article With Some Suggestions

I thought I remembered several small clusters of similar, rapid & 'odd' deaths where foul play had been ruled out.

I wouldn't place too much emphasis on the mere PRESENCE of a lot of OTC meds in the hotel room. Travelling to any expotic location with lots of endemic nasties, I'd have a small tote full of stuff myself.

I don't see any strong reason to suspect some odd hemorrhagic virus - too few cases. Not saying it isn't possible but it's unlikely. That being said, I'd love to find more detail on the less recent clusters & deaths, most importantly, where these people went, what they might have been exposed to before falling ill & dying.

There's the article:

***Quebec sisters possibly poisoned in Thailand***



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montre...ot-murder.html
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:49 PM   #9
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So, should I pass on this info to one of my students who leaves for Thailand in 12 days?!?
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:06 AM   #10
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I'd let them know what happened - if they don't already know & remind them that Thailand sees millions of tourists a year. MOST don't become ill and/or die.

A reminder about scrupulous hygiene & being very careful about what they eat wouldn't hurt, especially if they're inexperienced travellers.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:11 AM   #11
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I am more apt to believe in an improperly cooked chicken riddled with H5N1 than today's poison de jure, blowfish toxin, as the local Gendarmes suggested in interviews.

The parents should be questioned about the girls eating habits, to find out if they are boring eaters or not.

One thing I can guarantee you is that the pressure to find out NOTHING will be intense.

I find it curious that media reports they found multiple OTC drugs in room. If the girls tried to self medicate, were they treating themselves for flu symptoms or for upset stomach?

---------- Post added at 06:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:58 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oric View Post
Why did Cao leave ? I noticed after you said ..
Have no clue. My guess is that he felt under appreciated here.

---------- Post added at 06:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:01 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by NowVoyager View Post
Is there anything that might point to some sort of Marburg like virus?
I've seen no MSM trigger words to suspect that. I don't believe vomiting goes with Marburg. Regardless, lots of more folk would be dead if it were a Marburg like virus, as it is easily spread post motem

---------- Post added at 06:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:05 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
Presumably healthy young women dying of dehydration in such a short period of time???
Unless a massive electrolyte imbalance???
Hey Mayerling! Haven't seen you in a while! Hope you are safe in Egypt. What's the status there of the H5N1 regular infections there in your neck of the world?

---------- Post added at 06:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:09 AM ----------

Anyway, eloctolite imbalance doesn't account for lesions and bleeding.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaCA View Post
So, should I pass on this info to one of my students who leaves for Thailand in 12 days?!?
DonT eat anything raw or undercooked unless you are in Japan. Fresh salads are a no no, always while traveling far from home, and skin fruits before eating. Finally, only drink bottled drinks, never ice unless in an upscale filtered water hotel and restaurant source, and tell them to learn to love Perrier style water, the carbonation helps kill nasties. I'm not sure about Thailand, but in Europe the designation is water with gas, and in US it's called club soda, squirt it with a wedge of lime or lemon to help the taste.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:24 AM   #13
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One thing in the article caught my eye. "Both women's fingernails and toenails were blue and had blood under them."

Assuming the article means there was blood under the fingernails, I wonder if the skin lesions are actually sites where they may have been scratching. I know from experience that during an outbreak of hives, it's very easy to scratch yourself pretty severely. And once the hives resolve, you're left with what could look like open skin lesions.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:25 AM   #14
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Just in cas family or friends are searching for answers.....

Audrey and Noemi Belanger, 20 and 26, were college students from a well-known family in a small town in Quebec
Discovered in their hotel room on the popular resort island of Phi Phi
Case is similar to an American and a Norwegian who died in 2009
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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As noted above, this is not a new thing in Ko Phi Phi. Definitely more likely poison (food-borne or otherwise) than a contagion. Last time this happened, theories ranged from strychnine, to cheap bathtub booze to fugu.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:32 PM   #16
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Seems to me I remember one of Andrew Zimmern's programs, on Thailand, pretty sure, that had something on horseshoe crab ova. Very toxic unless properly prepared, and even then, life-threatening reactions were possible.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #17
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UPDATE:
"Quebec sisters died in Thailand from drinking DEET"

"he death earlier this year in Thailand of two sisters from Quebec was caused by drinking a cocktail that contained the insect repellent DEET, an autopsy concluded.

Results of the autopsy at a Bangkok hospital have not been publicly released, but they were shown to reporters for CBC's French-language news network.

According to the report, 20-year-old Audrey and Noémi Bélanger, 25, had DEET in their bodies that they had ingested.

Though the chemical is a potentially neurotoxic mosquito repellent, it is used as an ingredient in a euphoria-inducing cocktail that is popular among youth in Thailand. The drink contains cough syrup, Coke, DEET and ground up kratom leaves, which are a mild narcotic indigenous to Thailand.

It is thought that an overdose of DEET was accidentally mixed into the young women's drinks."
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:19 PM   #18
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DEET?!? As part of a drink to get high? Looks like this is a Darwin Award.

Re Cao, we were moving a LOT of his non-flu woowoo stuff out of MedNews and Science. He whined about it, I put on my mod hat, told him to knock it off or we'd restrict him to downstairs, and he left in a purple huff.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:14 PM   #19
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Definitely worth a Darwin Award. The recipe is awful enough without the DEET and there are good local alternatives for getting high.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #20
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overdose? or I wonder if it is a tolerance build up thing...... DEET is probably heavily used in Thailand and the youths might have a tolerance to the stuff and so the drink didn't hurt them.

On the other hand, DEET virgins could be offed by a high enough dose.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
DEET has been found to inhibit the activity of a central nervous system enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, in both insects and mammals.[21] This enzyme is involved in the hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, thus playing a role in the function of the neurons which control muscles. Because of this property, many insecticides are used to block acetylcholinesterase, which leads to an excessive accumulation of acetylcholine at the synaptic cleft, causing neuromuscular paralysis and death by asphyxiation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEET

I think it's more dose related and it might have been poisoning/murder. Would you mix this yourself first thing after arrival? Probably not...
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #22
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I read a couple of other articles, which of course I can't find now, that suggested that there have been some attempts to keep the autopsy results fairly quiet to avoid negative publicity that would hit the tourism dollars.

That gives me the impression that the authorities at least suspect there might be some criminal aspect to this, as opposed to the sisters voluntarily drinking this stuff. The article I posted also mentioned that another autopsy will be performed in Montreal but the results will take months. So there may be more information coming out some time in the future.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:08 PM   #23
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DEET is not very toxic. LD50 is between 500mg and 5000mg per kg. So, a woman weighing, say, 50kg, would need to drink a couple ounces of it or more.
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