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Woman Dies From Bird Flu After Bathing in Canal in Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
January 24, 2005

>>The 35-year-old woman from southern Dong Thap province was admitted to the Hospital of Tropical Disease in Ho Chi Minh City on 20 Jan 2005 and died on the following day. She did not slaughter or eat sick or dead chickens, but she often had a bath in a canal which contained dead fowl, her relatives said.<<

The fatal bird flu infection in the 35F who bathed in the canal sounds similar to the 9M who died after swimming in water used for chicken disposal.  Both cases highlight the widespread distribution of the H5N1 virus throughout Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta.

The number of dead poultry now is above 600,000 and the asymptomatic ducks generate even more virus.  The number of usual cases (human to human transmission and infections from swimming or bathing) suggests that the virus is either more easily transmitted to humans because of genetic changes or is just widely distributed.  Even pets were dying from H5N1 infections in Ho Chi Minh City several weeks ago.

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