Suspect H5N1 Familial Cluster in Vietnam and South Korea Recombinomics Commentary November 7, 2007
A 33-year-old man from South Korea died of pneumonia with bird flu-like symptoms in Vietnam's southern Can Tho city, local media reported Wednesday. The man named Lu Chin-chu, whose wife is from the city's Co Do district, died on Tuesday afternoon, 11 hours after being admitted to the Can Tho General Hospital, said Youth newspaper. Specimens from the patient are being tested for bird flu virus strain H5N1.
His father in South Korea is suffering from pneumonia with bird flu-like symptoms, according to his relatives in the city.
The above report of suspected bird flu among family members in southern Vietnam and South Korea raises more questions than it answers. Although reported transport of H5N1 via commercial airliner has been limited to exotic birds, transport of SARS CoV via airline accelerated the SARS outbreak in early 2002, and is a major red flag for the spread of infectious diseases in general.