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Four Deaths in Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
August 11, 2004

The fours deaths, in southern Vietnam, between July 30 and August 2 are being investigated.  Three members from the same family is a red flag, as is the fact that one of the family members was in high school.  Death was rapid and samples were only collected from one patient.

The isolates from last season from Vietnam and Thailand contained polymorphisms found in humans and swine, indicating that there had already been recombination last season.  The four deaths were in a region that has had a recent outbreak of H5N1.

Three of the deaths have now been confirmed as H5.  Two of the deaths were children, ages 1 and 4, from the same province near Hanoi, raising concerns of human to human transmission.  The third death was in a province in southern Vietnam where three family members died during the same time frame, July 30 to August 2.

Thus, there are now six deaths, two in the north and four in the south.  Three of the six have been confirmed.
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