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Suspect Bird Flu Patient in Kien Giang Dies

Recombinomics Commentary
March 15, 2005

>>An old man from Vietnam's southern Kien Giang province died on March 13 after showing bird flu symptoms, according to local newspaper Youth on Tuesday.

    The 69-year-old man named To So Trung from Chau Thanh district was admitted to the Kien Giang Hospital on March 5 with symptoms of breathing difficulty. Specimens from the patient are being tested for bird flu virus strain H5N1.

    The patient had stomachache and difficulties in breathing after eating duck. He needed respiratory assistance after hospitalization.  <<

The failure to have H5N1 results 10 days after admission is cause for concern.  This is the first report of a suspected bird flu patient in the south in over a month, and like all othe
r cases in the south, the patient has died.

The location of Kien Giang adjacent to Cambodia is cause for additional conern.  Many patients have crossed the border with  complex cases.

Dates of the meal and onset of symptoms would be useful, as would contact tracing results.  The combination of delayed testing and false negatives creates significant control problems for H5N1 avian influenza.

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