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Bird Flu News, July 26, 2006
posted by admin on 27/07/06
Human bird flu seems re-emerging in Thailand
A 17-year-old youth from Thailand's northern province of Phichit who died from acute lung infection and flu-like symptoms on Monday had probably been infected with the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, local media Wednesday quoted a Public Health official as saying.
The new human bird flu case sent an emergent warning to the Thai government and related organizations, as no deaths have occurred since February last year and no new human bird flu cases have been found in Thailand over the past year and a half.
"There is a high possibility that this man died from avian influenza," a senior official who asked not to be named told Bangkok Post, adding that doctors had failed to detect the virus because the tissue samples from the patient had deteriorated.
The official said the youth, from Thap Khlo district, was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday after developing a high fever. His condition deteriorated rapidly.
The teenager fell ill shortly after he had buried about 20 fowls that had died of unknown causes in his village.
Post-mortem results on the cause of his death would be released on Wednesday, said the official.
The announcement came a day after the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry confirmed a fresh outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu strain in Phichit's Bang Mun Nak district, the first in the country in eight months. The virus was found in a fighting cock carcass.
The district has been declared a bird flu-infected area, which allows the authorities to employ full-scale disease control measures, including eradication, quarantine, controls on fowl movements and disinfection of affected premises.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Tuesday called on Thailand to conduct an "intense investigation" into the re-emergence of bird flu and trace the possible spread of the virus from the northern province of Phichit.
The international body also emphasized the importance of "early detection" and "rapid and transparent international reporting" to curb the spread of the virus.
The recurrence of bird flu in Phichit reaffirmed the FAO's concern about the potential for the disease to resurface in high- risk areas, said Laurence Gleeson, regional manager of the FAO's emergency center for transboundary animal diseases.
Further investigations should be carried out to determine the source of the infection, he said.
"The FAO will continue to closely monitor Thailand's bird flu prevention and control programs and offer assistance to the Livestock Development Department (LDD) in its control efforts," he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Medical Sciences Tuesday announced that five suspected human bird flu cases from Phichit, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun, had tested negative for H5N1.
Department chief Paijit Warachit said the five patients, including a 12-year-old girl from Phichit, were only infected with the human influenza virus.
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