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Hau Giang Infections
December 21, 2004
>> In the two provinces of Hau Giang and An Giang, hundreds of chickens and ducks have suddenly died since mid-December. Local veterinarian forces are trying to identify the cause.<<
The likely cause is H5N1. Although a cluster of cases in Thailand was considered to be probable human to human transmission of H5N1, a similar cluster happened in Hau Giang province in August. The initial cases were cremated before samples could be collected, by the older sister, who developed symptoms after hew brother and cousin had been cremated did test positive for H5N1.
Recently, sequences from H5N1 infected chickens became available at GenBank, and these sequences were virtually identical to Vietnamese human and bird sequences from earlier in the year. However, it is now the start of a new season with new sequences available for exchange of more genetic information via reassortment and recombination. Therefore sequences of H5N1 isolates associated with new outbreaks this month would be of interest.