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Hospitalized Suspect H5N1 Case in South Korea

Recombinomics Commentary 14:50
April 21, 2008

A soldier who showed symptoms of avian influenza is being treated a military hospital, authorities said Monday.

An army corporal, identified by his surname Cho, has been suffering from a high fever since Sunday after participating in the culling of AI infected chickens and ducks in Sunchang, North Jeolla province.

The above comments describe an H5N1 suspect case in South Korea.  A human infection would not be a surprise.  Although the subclade circulating in the current outbreak has not been announced, last season the Uvs Lake strain of clade 2.2.3 was in circulation in the region.  Wild birds were implicated by related H5N1 in fecal samples at sites frequented by migrating birds.

Clade 2.2 has been isolated from infected patients in Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Djibouti, Nigeria, and Pakistan.  The Azerbiajan cases involved 2.2.3 and it is likely that 2.2.3 was also linked to the more recent outbreaks in Pakistan.  Similarly human cases have also been linked to clade 1, clade 2.1 and clade 2.3, so there is little reason to discount human infections in South Korea.

More information on symptoms and test results would be useful.

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