The World Health Organization said that a 42-year-old Lao woman, who died on Sunday at a hospital in the capital city of Vientiane after suffering bird flu-like symptoms, was most likely infected by the H5N1 strain of the virus.
The woman, who lived in Phonhong where the deadly virus has been found in poultry, was brought to the hospital in Vientiane on February 28. She fell ill after developing high temperature, a severe pneumonia, and a severe cough.
Tests at the Lao National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology
showed that the woman had the H5 strain. Both WHO and Lao authorities are waiting for further test results from a WHO reference laboratory in the region to confirm if it is the H5N1.
Earlier in the week, Lao officials announced their first human bird flu case, a 15-year-old girl who lives in a suburb of Vientiane who is now being treated in a hospital in the town of Nongkhai in Thailand, across the Mekong from Vientiane.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.