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Two Likely Bird Flu Cases in PhitsanuLok Thailand

Recombinomics Commentary
February 14, 2005

>>The case described in the above report bears some resemblances to the previous suspected case (young age, locality and contact with poultry). Not enough detail is given, however, to be confident that the 6-year-old is a new case of suspected avian influenza and not simply a case of inaccurate reporting.<<

The resemblances between the 7M last week and the 6M this week are clearly in the media reports, but those resemblances are to be expected.  Both patients live in PhitsunuLok Province, where there have been reports of bird flu outbreaks throughout this year.  In the most recent report there were 6 outbreaks reported that began at the beginning of this month.  3 were in Prompiram, where last week's case lived. 

Another bird flu outbreak was in Bangrakam, where this week's case lived.  Both cases were reported to have developed symptoms shortly after contact with sick birds.  Last week's case tested positive for Influenza A and had lung involvement, which raised serious questions about the sensitivity of the H5N1 test, which was negative. 

This week's case has a similar history, but is reported to be a year younger and in a separate location.  The comment that Prompiram was hard hit merely confirmed and extended the OIE report, and raises the suspicion level for last week's "negative" case even higher.

Last year there were 12 H5N1 laboratory confirmed cases in Thailand that were missed.  Last week's negative result on the influenza A positive patient continues to cause concern.

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