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Bird Flu Export to Laos?

Recombinomics Commentary
February 3, 2005

>> A deadly strain of bird flu has broken out in two more provinces in northern Thailand, bringing to eight the number of provinces affected by the disease, a senior official said Thursday.

"We detected the virus during our re-examination of every part of the country," Saravudh Suvannababba of the National Avian Influenza Center told AFP.

In the northeastern province of Nong Khai, along the Laos border, the virus was found in the districts of Thabor and Sri Chiang Mai, where 208 chickens had died of the disease, he said. <<

Detecting bird flu along the border with Laos is not a good indicator.  One of last year's concerns was the spread of H5N1 into countries such as Cambodia and Laos, where monitoring systems may not be extensive. 

One of the major red flags of bird flu transmission is export of the virus to other countries.  Although the direction of import / export is difficult, the positive result for the Cambodian patient is one indicator of import / export between Cambodia and Vietnam. 

Detection of H5N1 in Thailand along the Laos border may be another example of export of H5N1 into another country.

Inefficient monitoring will make the control of H5N1 avian influenza difficult.

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