A disease that leaves people with AIDS-like symptoms but not actually with the disease has been identified by researchers in the United States and Asia where scores of people have become infected.
While not a contagious STD like HIV, the disease weakens a patients immune system, leaving them unable to fend off germs in the same way healthy people achieve.
Because the disease does not seem to be contagious, doctors are baffled as to why so many people have contracted it.
According to Dr. Sarah Brown of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease:
“This is another kind of acquired immune deficiency that is not inherited and occurs in adults, but doesn’t spread the way AIDS does through a virus.”
Dr. Brown helped lead the group of researchers who identified the new disease mostly in Thailand and Taiwan where a majority of the cases have been discovered since 2004.
The disease, which does not appear to be genetic, tends to develop in patients around the age of 50, which makes in unlikely that a single gene mutation is too blame for the condition.
In some cases, “overwhelming infections” have led to death as a patients body becomes unable to fight off even the most basic of bacteria and viruses.
Most of the cases in the United States appear to have come over from Asians who immigrated state side.
Researchers now refer to the condition as “adult-onset” immunodeficiency syndrome.
Patients who survive a myriad of infections can go on to live a full life, although the condition typically remains a chronic issue for the patient’s entire life.