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Death of girl Suspected to be due to Bird flu Outbreak

The death of a nine-year-old girl with symptoms similar to H5N1 avian flu, has led to fears of an outbreak of the disease although health authorities has said// that it would take another day to confirm whether she death was because of the H5N1 virus.

Geowthip Chiangin succumbed to high fever and pneumonia in a district hospital in Lop Buri province, 120km north of Bangkok, after suffering since Sunday.

According to Lop Buri's chief health official Pranor Khamthieng the girl had initially tested negative for the H5N1 virus. However samples have been sent to Bangkok for a more thorough investigation into whether she she had died of bird flu.

Meanwhile, in Chachoengsao province east of Bangkok, two patients, a 17-year-old youth and a 42-year-old woman, have been isolated in a state hospital following suspicion of infection with bird flu. Senior health officials have said that laboratory tests were being conducted to confirm the diagnosis.

Dr Thawat Suntrajarn, director of the Department of Disease Control, has said that following confirmation of earlier tests of human influenza, doctors at Ban Pho Hospital have isolated the two patients in a ward with closed-circuit television cameras, to monitor for bird-flu related symptoms around the clock.

Dr Thawat said, ''Because they are having a human influenza, further tests are need to confirm what type of the human flu virus they have and whether they also have bird flu.''

Dr Thawat said the young man had touched ducks as both he and the woman worked in a duck slaughterhouse in Chachoengsao province.

According to a local livestock official although the province has raised some five million chickens in farm no bird flu outbreak has been reported in local poultry.

Dr Kasiwat Sripradit, the hospital director said that the two patients were admitted with high fever and a bad cough and that doctors and clinical technicia
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