A northern resident, feared to have been the latest victim of bird flu virus, died of a strain of human influenza instead, the Thai Public Health Ministry said Thursday.
Apichart Phrombutr, a 41-year-old resident of Si Chiang Mai district of Nong Khai Province -- where the latest outbreak of bird flu was confirmed last week -- died from the H3N2 strain of human flu, not the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the head of the Department of Medical Science, Paijit Warachit, was quoted by local news group The Nation as saying.
Apichart died on Monday, just two days after falling ill with bird-flu-like symptoms. His death sparked public fears and a wide spread rumor that bird flu had claimed another Thai. Seventeen people have died of the disease in Thailand since it was first detected here in 2003.
But Paijit said Apichart's home was a long way from the poultry farm where the latest bird flu outbreak was detected.