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A Fifth Suspect Bird Flu Case in Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
January 7, 2005

>>The 18-year-old girl from the southern Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang was in serious condition and breathing with a respirator at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, said Nguyen Tan Tranh, director of Tien Giang's health department.<<

Based on the age, timing, condition, and location, this sounds like another case of H5N1 avian influenza.  The large number of cases over such a short time frame is cause for concern.  For the 5 confirmed or suspect cases, two have died and three are in serious condition and on respirators..

All cases are from southern Vietnam, but because it is still the beginning of the flu season, it seems likely that there will be additional cases in northern Vietnam as well as Thailand.  H5N1 has become endemic to the area and is more efficiently transmitted during the cooler months,  Sequence data would be useful to see if the new season has brought new sequences.

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