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December 05, 2005

X-rays show damage done by avian flu

Reuters has a chilling story from Vietnam: avian flu victims' lungs are clogged with pus and surrounded by fluid.

Based on chest X-rays performed on 14 Vietnamese bird flu patients admitted to Ho Chi Minh City Hospital -- nine of whom died -- researchers at the University of Oxford in England found shared abnormalities that were good predictors of whether the disease would be fatal.

The infection from the H5N1 avian flu virus caused multiple lung infections, "which usually represents pus and infection in patients with fever and a cough," radiologist Dr. Nagmi Qureshi said. "We also discovered that the severity of these findings turned out to be a good predictor of patient mortality."

es on to report that survivors' lungs resemble those of SARS victims, only worse: H5N1 resulted in fluid around the lungs, enlarged lymph nodes, and actual cavities in the lung tissue, as well as SARS-like scar tissue.

Update: Here is another report on the same conference, with some additional details.

Posted by dymaxion at December 5, 2005 09:31 PM

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