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More Cases in Vietnam
August 12, 2004.
WHO report on the three confirmed fatalities, indicates there are more cases. Media reports describe six fatalities, including five from two families. All six fatal cases died between July 30 and August 3. The cases in the south died between July 30 and August 2 and they died within 3 days of admittance, so their admissions were too late to be included in cases admitted July 19. In addition, all six fatal cases died prior to the most recent reported admission of August 8.
Thus, although the WHO report does not give details on the number of Vietnamese patients admitted with avian flu symptoms, it is clear that the number is greater than the reported six fatalities. Of interest would be the condition of additional family members.
WHO has requested samples for sequencing. Attention should be focused on evidence of additional recombination. Re-assortments are good markers for dual infections, which are required for recombination. However, it is recombination, not re-assortment is driving the current pandemic.