Monday, February 28, 2005

And another (Hanoi)

Now Hanoi. Xinhuanet says local media are reporting another confirmed case of bird flu is under treatment at the Tropical Disease Institute. That brings the total cases in Vietnam since late December to 21. The fifth case in a week.

Update, 3/1/05, 7 AM EST: Overnight, the Vietnamese government announced that the 21 year old man (victim number 18) has died. He had been on a respirator with a high fever. His 14 year old sister, the 19th case, remains hospitalized (HiPakistan).

Additional details on the new Hanoi case have also become available. She is a 35 year old refuse collector who was frequently seen collecting trash in the poultry markets, although she herself did not eat poultry. Tissue samples tested positive for H5N1 according to the director of the tropical disease unit at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi (AP via NDTV [Delhi, India]).

Update, 3/1/05, 9 pm EST: Confusion reigns regarding the vital status of the 21 year old brother of case 19 (case 18). The young man's doctors are denying the spokesman for the official statement of the health ministry that he had died on Sunday at the Tropical Disease Institute Hospital. Since the treating physicians are in a better position to know than the health ministry, we believe this patient is still alive, although reported to be gravely ill. It is a small morsel of good news, and perhaps only temporary, but we are grateful nonetheless. (Report from Agence France Presse [who first reported the death] via INQ7, Philippines).