Thailand reports bird flu death
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BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- Thailand's Health Ministry has confirmed the death of a 5-year-old boy from avian influenza.
He was first hospitalized on December 5, according to the ministry's bird flu center.
The boy came from Nakhon Nayok, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Bangkok.
His death is the country's 14th fatality due to the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
Thailand has confirmed 22 cases of the virus within its borders.
Avian influenza has spread rapidly among birds, first in Southeast Asia and more recently in Europe. (Special Report)
More than 120 people have been infected with the H5N1 strain, and half of those have died.
In November, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on the international community to make immediate preparations for a possible pandemic of bird flu.
While it is not yet clear if the H5N1 strain will ever gain the ability to infect large numbers of people, Annan said world leaders cannot ignore the threat it poses.
To date, the only human cases of H5N1 bird flu have been confined to Asia, but the deadly strain appears to be spreading among migratory birds.
Last month, the United States banned poultry from mainland British Columbia after a duck there tested positive for the H5 strain of avian flu.
CNN Producer Narunart Prapanya in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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