The following wouldn't be of much significance even for the "Flu Obsessed" except for the part that I bolded.
From The Himalayan Times [credit Crof @ H5N1]
THT Online Nepalgunj, August 3:
At least 50 people of Banaghusra in Basudevpur Village Development Committee of Banke district have been suffering from an unknown disease.
Headache, dizziness, fever, cough and diarrhoea are symptoms of this disease, Mansoor Khan, a local, said, adding that the disease has been afflicting senior citizens and children the most. Raju Sunar of Basudevpur 4 said, "Though we have informed the sub-health post based in the village about the disease, it has not sent health workers to diagnose the ailment and treat the patients."
Meanwhile, officer of the District Public Health Office, Om Upadhyaya, pledged to send a team of health workers to Banaghusra. Basudevpur VDC lies near the township of Nepalgunj.
The reason the bolded part holds significance for me is because most endemic diseases, of which there are many in this corner of the world, effect children the most, if not almost exclusively. The sentence reads "senior citizens and children the most", suggesting that those in between may be suffering sickness as well, albeit, at a lesser rate or severity.
A disease that affects more than one cohort is suggests a pathogen that the population has no preexisting immunity to, or a non-infectious pathogen acquired via the environment.
A story from Nepal Horizons from Friday:
Nepal Horizons Reporter
Aug 2, 2008: An outbreak of an unidentified disease has affected 300 villagers in Basudevpur VDC of Banke district.
The sick people are showing symptoms such as headache, fever and diarrhea. A team of health workers led by Agat Shahi today treated the patients and distributed medicines free of cost. Shahi said that they have examined 215 patients and taken blood from three persons affected by Malaria for further test.
Neither story mentions any deaths, nor do they mention life-threatening illness, just illness of an unknown cause. It could be one of any number of illnesses, and H5N1 is not a likely candidate, but it is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
As I've noted before, at least we are getting word of an outbreak that might be something that would be concern to us in the "wider world". But even if this is of no concern to us (in the wider-world) we learn about issues and conditions faced by people in places we've likely never heard of, and perchance take that opportunity to realize that what effects a village in Nepal might, at some point, come tapping at our own door.
Villagers in Basudevpur are our "neighbors" in this interconnected world of ours, so we watch and hope for a quick resolution with a positive outcome. We hope for this for the villagers – and selfishly – for their "neighbors"