Thai bird flu baby recovers, grandma cleared

  • World
  • Monday, 14 Nov 2005

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Bangkok toddler who tested positive for bird flu is now fully recovered, but will have to remain in hospital for three weeks to meet international health requirements, a senior health official said on Monday. 

His grandmother, who was tested for the H5N1 virus, turned out to have ordinary human flu, Disease Control Department chief Thawat Suntrajarn told Reuters. 

"He is fully recovered now because he was infected with only small amount of the virus and was given prompt treatment," Thawat said of the first case in the Thai capital since a flare-up of the deadly disease a month ago. 

"His grandmother tested negative twice, but we have to keep testing her until she is discharged from hospital," he said. 

Thawat said the 18-month-old boy might have contracted the H5N1 virus from the droppings of chickens that died around his home in an eastern suburb of Bangkok. 

The virus -- which has killed 13 Thais since it swept across large parts of Asia in late 2003 -- has re-emerged in 10 of Thailand's 76 provinces, mainly in central areas, since the beginning of last month. 

Five provinces were later declared free of the disease after a 21-day surveillance period. 

Despite the spread of the virus to the outskirts of Bangkok, outbreaks remain far fewer than at the same time last year, when 44 of Thailand's 76 provinces reported bird flu cases. 

The toddler's case brings the number confirmed H5N1 infections to 125, of which 64 have died. All the cases have been in Asia, though the virus has since spread to birds in Europe. 

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