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Dengue impact on bird flu not yet known: Thai official
posted by admin on 01/08/06
The H5N1 avian influenza virus.
Thai health officials Thursday said that test results were not yet conclusive regarding a possible role that dengue fever might have also played in the death of a teenage boy who was confirmed to have succumbed to the H5N1 avian influenza virus.
Complex medical reports have some members of the public worrying that bird flu virus has mutated with dengue fever after the teenager died from bird flu earlier this week in Thai northern province of Phichit.
The boy was the first bird flu death this year and the country's 15th since the first outbreak hit Thailand's poultry nearly three years ago.
Dr. Paijit Warachit, Director General of the Department of Medical Sciences, said further test results would be issued next week as doctors also suspected that the victim was infected with dengue fever at the same time.
The suspicion caused concern among some who fear the two viruses could mutate if they meet, but there is no medical evidence that such has occurred.
The latest victim was reported to have caught bird flu virus while burying one of his fighting cocks which had died.
Three of the victim's relatives have been quarantined and are under close watch for flu-like symptoms.
The death came just a day before Thailand confirmed a new outbreak of the lethal H5N1 strain in Phichit, the boy's home town.
Movement of poultry in the province was immediately banned as the government has deployed teams of veterinarians from Bangkok to contain the outbreak. Health authorities in seven other provinces in the region have been put on high alert to monitor for the virus 's emergency.
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