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Second Bird Flu Fatality from Thai Binh This Month

Recombinomics Commentary
February 28, 2005

>> A 21-year-old man from northern Vietnam has died of bird flu, becoming the fifteenth victim of the disease in the Southeast Asian country in the past two months, the health ministry said on Tuesday <<

The second bird flu death from Thai Binh raises additional questions about the source of these fatal infections.  Thai Binh has been declared H5N1 free since February 5, 2005, yet the two fatal H5N1 cases, as well as the two confirmed cases, developed symptoms well after the February 5 date.  Moreover, there has been no established link between any of the recent cases and sick or H5N1 infected poultry.

All of the reported cases this month have been from Thai Binh.  All of the reported fatalities in northern Vietnam this season have been linked to Thai Binh.

Since there have been false negatives associated with the H5N1 test in Vietnam, and some media reports indicated that the recent fatality's sister initially tested negative for H5N1, it would be useful to determine the number of Thai Binh influenza A fatalities this year.

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