AIDS death caused by virus that hits babies

The Australian, 11 Jul 1983:

THE first Australian victim of AIDS to die in the country had such a depressed natural immune system that he died of a virus which rarely kills even new-born babies.

The man. a 43-year old heterosexual, contracted a CMV, or cytomegalo virus, which usually threatens infants only.

He died in Prince Henry’s Hospital, Melbourne, on Friday.

The duty medical registrar, Dr Moahd Sulaiman. would only say that the man was suffering from a very depressed immune system and that he had contracted CMV.

A private doctor said CMV was a common infection normally only worrying when contracted by new-born babies.

AIDS, a medical acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, has killed 640 people in the United States since it was identfied in 1981.

Medical sources believe there are two other hospital cases in Melbourne, and up to 17 in Australia.

They believe the man who died on Friday was admitted to hospital a month ago. soon alter returning from the United States.

Meanwhile, eight beds in an isolated ward at Melbourne’s Fairfield Hospital are ready should other hospitals decide to transfer suspected AIDS victims.

The isolation ward, which has filtered air and the most modern equipment, was set up by the Commonwealth Health Department last year.

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