AR-News: Avian Flu Kills Thai Boy,
(human) Death Toll Now 20 -- jumped to other species!
wolfcrest at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 14 18:56:49 EST 2004
Avian Flu Kills Thai Boy, Death Toll Now 20
Saturday, February 14, 2004
BANGKOK, Thailand A 13-year-old Thai boy died of bird flu Saturday,
bringing to 20 the number of human fatalities from the disease that's also
killed millions of chickens and ducks across Asia and is now feared to have
jumped to other animals.
The boy died late at night at a hospital in the country's northeast, where
he'd been in intensive care after testing positive for the avian flu virus
on Thursday, said Charal Trinvuthipong, director-general of the Public
Health Ministry's Department of Communicable Disease Control.
The disease is now confirmed in six human deaths in Thailand and 14 in
The Thai boy, whose identity hasn't been released, became sick 10 days after
his family's chickens started dying mysteriously, a ministry statement said
"The boy's condition got slightly better before it worsened rapidly," and he
then died, Charal said, adding that the disease had harmed the victim's
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warned that the virus still has
not been controlled in several Asian countries despite the culling of
millions of chickens and ducks.
After ravaging poultry flocks, the disease is now hitting other species,
killing a heron in Cambodia and possibly a leopard and cranes in Thailand
and pheasants in Taiwan.
A zoo in northern Thailand has isolated two pandas from chickens that run
loose near the bears' compound over fears about the spread of bird flu, the
facility's director said Saturday, while a Cambodian zoo shut down its bird
section after 56 wild birds and some 400 parakeets have mysteriously dropped
Indian authorities said they plan to hold an emergency meeting of health and
agricultural officials from seven South Asian nations on Monday in New Delhi
to draft a strategy to prevent the spread of bird flu in the highly populous
A 1-year-old Thai girl from northeastern Kalasin province's Huay Mek
district on Saturday became the latest person suspected of having the
disease, said Dr. Thawat Sunthrajarn, deputy permanent-secretary of the
Public Health Ministry.
The girl became sick with a fever and cough a week after her family's 10
chickens became sick and died, he said.
In Cambodia, a gray heron that died last month at a Cambodian zoo has tested
positive for the avian flu, the country's third confirmed case of the H5N1
Pin Lyvun, the director of the Phnom Tamao (search) zoo, said the bird
section of the zoo was closed over fears that bird flu could spread as
officials tried to determine what killed 56 wild birds and some 400
In Thailand, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Prapat
Panyachatraksa said Friday that tests showed that a clouded leopard died of
bird flu on Jan. 27 at Khao Khiew Zoo in Chonburi province, 44 miles south
A zoo official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the leopard might
have eaten raw chicken infected with bird flu.
The World Health Organization (search) said if confirmed it could be the
first known case of the disease found in a member of the cat family.
The exact strain that killed the leopard was still unclear, Prapat said.
Prapat also announced tests were being carried out on more than 200 cranes
that died at Bungboraphet Bird Park in Nakhon Sawan province, 130 miles
north of Bangkok.
Meanwhile at the Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand's north, workers were trying to
keep wild roosters and hens away from a pair of endangered pandas, zoo
director Tanapat Pongpamorn said.
In Taiwan, officials ordered a pet bird farm in Taiwan's southern Tainan
County to kill about 300 birds, including Swinhoe's pheasants (search) a
once-endangered indigenous bird with a short white crest and a blue head.
The culling was ordered after test results showed some of the birds were
infected with H5N2 (search), a less dangerous strain of bird flu that has
not jumped to humans.
Ten governments in the region have been dealing with strains of bird flu
since South Korean officials reported an outbreak in December. Some Asian
countries, as well as the United States, are being hit with the milder
strain not thought to pose a danger to people.
World Health Organization officials have expressed concern that China may
also be suffering human cases given the broad range of poultry infections in
that sprawling country, which has confirmed avian flu in 14 of its 31
China on Saturday reported four new confirmed bird flu cases among poultry,
all in the country's south.
Cases were found in the cities of Yangjiang, Maoming and Zhuhai, all in
Guangdong province, and in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi region, the
Agriculture Ministry said in a report carried by the official Xinhua News
"I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species."
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
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