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Chicken-processing Worker Dies

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Published on Oct 09 , 2004

Avian influenza suspected; confirmed Kamphaeng Phet victim now fully recovered

Kanchanaburi - A female employee of a chicken-meat processing plant died yesterday in what health officials suspect could be another case of human bird flu.

Wongduen Wong-in, 33, died after falling ill nearly a week ago, said Surapong Tanthanasrikul, Kanchanaburi chief public health officer.

He said officials were waiting for the results of bird-flu tests from the Medical Service Department to ascertain the cause of death.

Wongduen fell ill last Saturday and suffered from high fever, muscle pain, dizziness and diarrhoea. She took painkillers for some time before going to see doctors at Uthong district hospital in Suphan Buri, where she received treatment until yesterday.

She was transferred to Phaholpol Phayuha Sena Hospital in Kanchanaburi just a few hours before she died.

Surapong said Phaholpol Phayuha Sena Hospital was also monitoring four other patients who were thought to have contracted bird flu.

A boy and a girl were transferred from Thamuang district hospital, a man was transferred from Phanom Thuan district

hospital and a woman was transferred from Thongpha Phum hospital.

He said all district hospitals had been told to transfer suspected bird-flu patients to the provincial hospital, where better equipment and facilities were available.

Meanwhile in Kamphaeng Phet confirmed bird-flu patient Pranom Thongchan was released from the provincial hospital yesterday. Doctors said she was completely cured of the bird-flu virus but they would perform more check-ups next week. Pranom’s younger sister, Pranee Thongchan, and niece, Sakuntala Premprapasri, had died.

Pranee was confirmed to have contracted bird flu, but Sakuntala’s case could not be confirmed because she was cremated before a test could be conducted.

The government has committed itself to spending more than Bt10 billion on relief measures for poultry farmers affected by the bird-flu epidemic. “The government will try to lessen the impact from bird flu as much as possible,” Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisang said yesterday.

Chaturon, speaking after a top-level meeting on avian influenza, said the money would be earmarked for a number of relief measures, focusing on loan refinancing and repayment extensions.

Meanwhile Deputy Public Health Minister Suchai Charoenratanakul has requested a Bt60-million budget for expediting lab tests for the H5N1 virus.

The Cabinet is expected to debate Suchai’s request on Tuesday.

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