Is A Human Pandemic Next?

Before he slipped into unconsciousness, six-year-old Kaptan Boonmanuj told his mother, "Mum, my chest feels like it's going to explode." On Jan. 26, after two weeks in a coma, Kaptan died in Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, becoming Thailand's first victim of avian flu. His parents returned home to the hamlet of Ben Ya Pad, deep in the country's rural western province of Kanchanaburi. Two days had passed since their son's death, and rice farmer Chamnan Boonmanuj and his wife Chongrak sat receiving friends and relatives, the smell of burning incense heavy in the front room of their concrete house. Behind them, Kaptan's...

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