Didn't mean to sound alarmist with the mortality rate aspect! I think the fact that DNA Connexions is testing for it is a good indicator that there are more cases than get counted by hospitals, sort of like how most people with mild flus stay home and therefore the news reports much scarier statistics about
flu season dangers than reflect the reality of the flu for people with mild cases, since they're only counting people feeling bad enough to seek medical care. My impression is that bartonella bacilliformis is gnarly in its acute stage, but not for everyone, and that we're not in any danger (relative to other bartonellas) now in the chronic phase.
Yes, bluelyme, I think Wikipedia does quote a high mortality rate, but I also see similar stats elsewhere. I try not to put too much stock in Wikipedia.
Unfortunately there's not much online about
this species because it's so (allegedly) rare. (Check also Carrion's disease, verruga peruana, and Oroya fever.)
These are just the first few results. Untreated cases of the acute initial fever (which not everyone develops, definitely worth noting) have a very high fatality rate, but the disease can take other forms. And once again, my lifetime distance from Peruvian sandflies shows how little is known about
this disease's epidemiology!
Sara (Lyme, ME, dysautonomias, HPA axis dysfunction....)