The virus that has killed 3 people and infected 39 more in Greece has been identified as a member of the human enterovirus family. Preliminary tests by Greece’s Special Infections Control Center suggest it could be Coxsackie B.

Identifying the precise strain will not make treatment any easier. Doctors can only treat the symptoms of the infection rather than the virus itself, says a spokesperson for the World Health Organization’s Communicable Disease and Surveillance Response center.

The Greek government has closed all schools and universities across the country, to try to stop the spread of the virus. Cases of infection have been reported in most regions of Greece. But it appears that the peak of the outbreak has passed.
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The death of popular young actor Ricardo Yan, age 27, in the Philippines has put the spotlight on a mystery ailment that kills healthy Asian men in their sleep. Filipinos call it “bangungot” or the nightmare syndrome. Patients with the illness are heard moaning just before they die, which is usually in the middle of the night, doctors say.

Doctors say he died of haemorrhagic pancreatitis leading to cardiac arrest. But there is reason why the ailment should strike an apparently healthy young man.

Yan was on vacation at a beach resort with a group of friends. Autopsy results showed he had drunk only a moderate amount of alcohol, equivalent to about two bottles of beer, prior to his death. There was no evidence he had taken any drugs.
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