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4th Bird Flu Fatality in Mekong Delta Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
January 11, 2005

>>An 18-year-old woman in Vietnam has died of a suspected case of bird flu, in what would be the country's fourth death from the virus in two weeks, a doctor said Tuesday.

The woman from the southern province of Hau Giang died Monday, said Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, deputy director of the Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital in Can Tho, a nearby city. She had been admitted to the hospital two days earlier with a high fever and serious lung infection - a week after slaughtering a chicken, Nhan said.<<

The above fatal case (18F) of bird flu is from Hau Giang, while the confirmed case (18F) in  critical condition is from Tien Giang.  However all of the 14 confirmed or suspected cases are from the Mekong Delta and all appear to be clustered around ducks in Can Tho city.  There are now four confirmed and four fatal cases.  However, the location and timing of the 10 suspect cases, including the most recent fatality, suggests most or all will be confirmed.

None of the confirmed or suspect cases has recovered, suggesting this year's version of H5N1 in Vietnam has a case fatality rate as high or higher than the rate of about 70% for official and unofficial confirmed cases in Thailand and Vietnam.

Sequence data on the cases from this season would be useful.

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