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First Reported Bird Flu Survivor in Kampot Cambodia?

Recombinomics Commentary
May 13, 2005

>> The 20-year-old woman from Kampot province has been on a respirator since she was admitted Wednesday to the General Hospital in Kien Giang province that borders Cambodia, Dr. Do Thanh Binh said.

Her high fever and coughing have almost disappeared, but two X-rays of her lungs showed serious damage, he said.

Binh said the woman first developed symptoms two weeks ago and was treated at a private clinic in Cambodia before being transferred to Vietnam.  <<

The case described appears to be the sixth reported H5N1 case from Kampot, Cambodia and the third reported patient seeking treatment in Vietnam. The five previous cases, like all reported H5N1 cases in the Mekong Delta this season, have been fatal.

The improvement in symptoms suggests the current patient may be the first reported survivor in Cambodia.  The frequency of H5N1 infections in poultry in the Mekong Delta has been high this season, and similar infections may be present in adjacent Kampot province.  Several avian and human H5N1 isolates have been sent to WHO for analysis.  A comparison with the isolates from northern Vietnam would be of interest because cases there have been milder, and new isolates missing one amino acid have been described.  These newer isolates in the north sound like recombinants between isolates from Vietnam and China, which may be responsible for large clusters of milder cases.

The continued detection of cases in Kampot, Cambodia are cause for concern as is the curious absence of reports of recent human cases in adjacent Vietnam.

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