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A Second Bird Flu Fatality in Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary

January 5, 2005

>>A six-year-old boy from southern Vietnam has died of bird flu, a doctor said today, in the second report this week of a death from the virus.

The boy died on December 30, said Nguyen Ngoc Diep, director of General Hospital in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap. He had been admitted with a high fever and serious lung infection, Diep said.

Tests in Ho Chi Minh City on a specimen taken from the boy's throat were positive with the H5N1 strain of bird flu, he said<<

The second fatality in a week further confirms that the new bird flu season has begun.  This season there have been four cases.  Two have died and two are in critical condition, further suggesting that the case fatality rate for this season will be similar to the rate of last season,

A recent study on cases in Thailand indicated at least 12 confirmed cases had been missed in the official case tally and these missed cases also had a case fatality rate close to 70%.

New sequence data will be important to see if the virus has changed for this season.  Last season there was little change in the available sequences.

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