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H5N1 Tiger Deaths in Thailand
October 19, 2004
>>The head of Thailand's bird flu taskforce, deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisang, said the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo's cats most likely contracted bird flu after being fed raw chickens.<<
Since there now seems to be 53 cats that have tested positive in the first round of testing, these data seem to be 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than a similar outbreak at the beginning of the year. Thus, it seems that many more chickens were contaminated, or the virus is spread more easily among the cats.
The virus isolated from the leopard and tiger last year was quite distinctive from other isolates from Thailand (and elsewhere). 53 cats positive in initial tests is not a good indicator.