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H5 Bird Flu Confirmed in Pichit Thailand
July 24, 2006
Officials said the H5 virus was detected on a farm in the northern province of Pichit, one of seven "red zone" provinces where surveillance was stepped up this month, and test results were expected in a few days.
If H5N1 is confirmed, it would be Thailand's first confirmed outbreak of the virus in nearly nine months.
An 11-year-old girl was in a Pichit hospital on Monday with flu-like symptoms after chickens died on her family farm, a doctor told Reuters. Test results are due on Tuesday.
"The chickens started to die on July 8 and she helped her mother bury the dead chickens without any protective gear
Three more people with suspected bird-flu have been reported in Phichit, one of the provinces listed by the government as an avian-flu "red zone".
Two of the patients were men aged 59 and 86 and the other was a boy aged seven. All three had reportedly been in contact with dead chickens and were being treated in an isolation ward at Phichit Hospital.
The above comments confirm H5 bird flu in Phichit, Thailand and raise the possibility the strong possibility that the patients hospitalized in the area with bird flu symptoms are infected. Although Thailand has denied H5N1 in birds, dogs, and people in the past, the denials have been controversial. H5N1 cas been isolated from dog, cat, and tigers in Thailand.
The detection of H5 in birds will almost certainly be H5N1 and the relatively large number of people hospitalized in the area is cause for concern.