10/04/2004, 00.00
THAILAND
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Bird flu: another child victim in Thailand

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Ap) - A girl has died of bird flu in Thailand, the 11th confirmed victim of the disease this year. Kanda Srilueng-On, aged 9, died overnight at a hospital in Thailand's Phetchabun province only hours after tests confirmed she was stricken with the disease, the Health Ministry said Monday. She was believed to have caught the disease from infected chickens, and had helped pluck

feathers from slaughtered chickens that her family had raised.

Thirty-five of the country's 76 Thai provinces have been affected by the H5N1 virus. There was concern last week when the government said that another victim of bird flu had probably caught the disease from her daughter. It could be the first case of human-to-human transmission of the disease. In Vietnam, the only other country to suffer human cases of the virus, 20 people have died.

Thailand, Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Indonesia are among countries that have dealt with new cases in recent months.

Officials at Pasay City's Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines, ordered passengers from countries with bird flu outbreaks to sanitise their shoes by stepping into an antiseptic foot bath. Authorities also revived the use of a fever-screening system at airports to help prevent the spread of the H5N1 virus. Experts fear that  that bird flu may one day combine with human flu to create a more deadly version of the disease.

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