Avian Influenza A H5N1
CONFIRMED in Thailand
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello, Jeff -- I sincerely want to thank you for posting my commentary regarding the lack of planning and gaps in the plan for pandemic preparedness. My goodness, it could almost be described as "spongiformed" and riddled with holes.
In any event, we now have definitive confirmation of H5N1 bird flu in Thailand. The government of Thailand had been trying to deny reports that the die-off of poultry around the country might be due to bird flu. It was obvious that bird flu had, once again, or still, become active in Thailand.
The few weeks of stalling and denials enabled the virus to spread and now there are 7 cases of bird flu in humans.
Denying should NOT be an option in any bird flu plan, and while denying animal outbreaks humans often become infected. There also appears to be bird flu in Laos, a country that did not have cases the past two years. Bird Flu is still not contained in Indonesia or China.
The time for total eradication has passed us by and we can only hope to control the extent of bird flu outbreaks until animals, and humans develop antibodies to the disease or until the virus mutates into a less virulent form.
We must be resigned to live with the virus and do all that we can to defend against it. It is imperative to take precautions against it before it becomes a pandemic strain.
Thank you,
Patricia Doyle
WHO Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR)
Avian Influenza Situation in Thailand 26 July 2006
The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand has confirmed a case of human infection with H5N1 avian influenza. The patient, a 17-year-old man from Thap Khlo district of Phichit province in the north, developed symptoms on 15 Jul [2006], was hospitalized on 20 Jul [2006] and died on 24 Jul [2006].
On 10 Jul [2006], the young man had buried the carcasses of dead chickens. This case coincides with a recurrence of a confirmed H5N1 outbreak in animals in the province. Control measures have been implemented to contain the animal outbreak and human surveillance has been strengthened. Field investigations have not found any indications of respiratory illness in close contacts of the young man.
This is the 1st human case of H5N1 infection reported from Thailand in 2006.
Thailand - Another Suspected Case Of Bird Flu
Bangkok Post
A 17-year-old youth from the northern province of Phichit who died from acute lung infection and flu-like symptoms on Mon 24 Jul 2006 had probably been infected with the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus, a senior Public Health official revealed yesterday [25 Jul 2006]. "There is a high possibility that this man died from avian influenza," the official said, 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 had buried about 20 fowl that had died of unknown causes in his village shortly before he fell ill. Post-mortem results on the cause of his death would be released today [Wed 26 Jul 2006], said the official.
The announcement came a day after the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry on Mon 24 Jul 2006 confirmed a fresh outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu strain in Phichit's Bang Mun Nak district, the 1st in the country in 8 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 UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) yesterday [25 Jul 2006] called on Thailand to conduct an "intense investigation" into the reemergence 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 Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases yesterday [25 Jul 2006].
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 yesterday [25 Jul 2006] announced that 5 suspected human bird flu cases from Phichit, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun, had tested negative for H5N1. Department chief Paijit Warachit said the 5 patients, including a 12-year-old girl from Phichit, were only infected with the human influenza virus.
Thailand - Local Test Confirms Avian Influenza Death
A 17-year-old Thai has died of the H5N1 bird flu virus, the country's 15th death since the virus swept across parts of Asia in late 2003, a senior health official said on Wed 26 Jul 2006. The young man died on Mon 24 Jul 2006 in the northern province of Phichit, where the authorities have confirmed the country's 1st outbreak of the virus among poultry in 8 months.
"The final lab test confirmed that he died of bird flu," Kamnuan Ungchusak, Head of the Health Ministry's Epidemiology Bureau, told Reuters by telephone from the hospital where the youth died. He is believed to have caught the virus while helping his father bury dead chickens last week. The father remained healthy, Kamnuan said. "We have quarantined the family, and there is no report of a new case yet," he said.
The last death in Thailand occurred in December 2005. Not including the latest death, bird flu has killed 132 people worldwide since the virus reemerged in Asia in 2003, the World Health Organization says. At present, H5N1 remains essentially a disease of birds and is hard for people to catch. But scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans and trigger a pandemic in which millions could die.
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
Univ of West Indies
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Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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