Avian flu alerts in 29 Thailand provinces

07-08-2006 | |

Thailand, the fourth largest poultry exporter in the world, now has bird flu alerts in 29 provinces, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Sudarat Keyuraphan.

Authorities have also now confirmed that a 27-year-old man from Uthai Thani province died from bird flu infection last week. The latest victim reportedly had extensive contact with dead poultry.

A 17 year-old boy died from the H5N1 virus around two weeks ago, while dozens of patients with similar symptoms were declared in quarantine and submitted to strict clinical observation.

The country had been free of human infections for seven months.

Provinces declared under ‘high avian flu risk’ include: Bangkok, Sing Buri, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, Suphan Buri, Chai Nat, Pathum Thani, Lop Buri, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Phichit, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan and Chaiyaphum.

Thai authorities say they have stepped up the search for people with H5N1 infection. So far, no other cases have been identified. Surveillance for infection in poultry and other farmed birds has also increased.

Thailand was one of the countries worst hit by avian flu in 2004 when the virus seriously affected several Asian countries, including China and Vietnam.

Official sources have confirmed 24 human cases of avian influenza, 16 of which were fatal. The Thai food industry has reported losses in the second quarter of the present year due to a fall in prices and a drop in poultry sales due to the scare generated by the disease.

More news and information on bird flu / avian influenza.