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Bird Flu Fatality in Northern Vietnam - New Demographic

Recombinomics Commentary
January 17, 2005

>> A 48-year-old man, his younger brother and a 62-year-old man were hospitalized on Saturday with acute pneumonia, which doctors in Hanoi suspected could be caused by bird flu, the Quan Doi Nhan Dan daily reported on Monday.
The 48-year-old man died and the other two patients were in critical condition.

The three suspect bird flu cases in northern Vietnam present a changing demographic. The cases in the south were younger and tied to poultry, including one older case (35F) who had been hired to dispose of dead chickens.  A 9 year old boy died after swimming, but the water had been used for bird disposal.

All three H5N1 suspect cases in the north, appear to be older.  There is no reported exposure to poultry at this time, but Vietnam issued an urgent warning on potential contamination of the food supply, especially poultry for the Tet Lunar New Year celebrations.

The link between the brothers, as well as potential exposure would be important.  Although cooking of food would kill the virus, spread during slaughter or preparation for cooking, including cross contamination of uncooked foods or utensils, is a significant concern.

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