According to the report, the new disease causes AIDS-like symptoms in Asians even though they are not infected with HIV. The disease damages patients’ immune systems.
Researchers are calling this new disease an "adult-onset" immunodeficiency syndrome because this kind of acquired immune deficiency is not inherited and occurs in adults only around the age of 50. Nearly all the patients are Asian or Asian-born people living elsewhere.
People suffering from the new disease, like those with AIDS, are vulnerable to viruses, fungal infections and parasites, but especially micobacteria, a group of germs similar to tuberculosis that can cause severe lung damage. Researchers still cannot explain why or how the disease develops.
The researchers conclude that genetic factors and something in the environment such as an infection may trigger the disease, even though the disease itself is not contagious.