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Bird Flu Cluster in Haiphong Vietnam Expands

Recombinomics Commentary

April 5, 2005

>>  a 12-year-old girl and a woman, are in hospital with suspected bird flu, the official Vietnam News Agency said on Tuesday.

The girl, who lives near a poultry slaughter house, was in an isolation ward on Monday in the northern city of Haiphong, the head of the city's Health Department was quoted as saying.<<

The hospitalization of a 12 year-old girl in Haiphong extends that geographical cluster in both time and space.  The cluster began with the admission of a family of five on March 22.  All five have been confirmed to be H5N1 positive.  They represent the largest familial cluster and the largest number of confirmed cases admitted simultaneously.  This common source distribution clearly shows efficient transmission of H5N1 to humans.

The exact source of the family's infection is not known. They raised 400 chickens that had begun to die.  Over 10 million bird have been culled in Vietnam.  There have been no reports of more than two  family members hospitalized simultaneously.

A few days later 2-3 neighbors were also hospitalized,  but H5N1 has not yet been confirmed.  The 12 year-old girl was admitted to the same hospital, but the geographical location to the other 7-8 in Haiphong is not known, but would appear to be more relevant than a nearby poultry slaughter house.

The Quang Binh cluster also was expanded with a new case.  Moreover the death of a 34 year-old physician in Quang Ninh may represent another geographical cluster.  A 40 year-old female was admitted to a hospital in Quang Ninh on March 17, and she was confirmed to be H5N1 positive.

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