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Dong Thap-linked H5N1 Case in Critical Condition
December 30, 2004
>>The girl had slaughtered a chicken she brought with her from Dong Thap province to southern Tay Ninh province, where she was visiting her uncle. She developed the disease's typical symptoms of high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties on Dec. 19, said Huynh Tan Kiet of the Tay Ninh provincial Preventive Medicine Centre.
Most human cases of bird flu have been traced to direct contact with sick birds. The virus is not believed to have mutated into a form that can easily be passed among people.
The girl was admitted to a clinic in Tay Ninh province late last week, before being transferred to the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 26, Kiet said.
None of the uncle's eight family members have developed bird flu symptoms, and the man's house has been disinfected, he said. The girl had slaughtered a chicken she brought with her from Dong Thap province to southern Tay Ninh province, where she was visiting her uncle. She developed the disease's typical symptoms of high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties on Dec. 19, said Huynh Tan Kiet of the Tay Ninh provincial Preventive Medicine Centre. <<
The above scenario is quite like cases earlier in the year, but a complete sequence would be useful. The time frame of disease onset and hospital transfer helps explain recent official warnings about increases in the number of animal cases and warnings about transmission to humans during activities in preparation for the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations.
Since there seems to be a lag of about 2 weeks between admission of suspect patients and release of information to the press, the number of young people admitted with high fevers after exposure to chickens in the would be useful. The status of other chickens in Dong Thap or neighboring Cambodia would also be useful.
A complete sequence may have indications of more recombination. There has been significant recombination in Vietnam and Thailand earlier this year, and it would be interest to see if additional mammalian polymorphisms have bee acquired. Such acquisitions, as seen in the WSN/33 isolates in Korea, do not require reassortment, but can have significant effects on the host range of the virus as has been seen in Vietnam and Thailand.