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Lao Woman With Bird Flu Symptoms Dies

Health officials in Laos say a woman who fell ill near the Lao capital last month with symptoms of bird flu has died.

Laboratory tests had shown the 42-year-old woman had the H5 flu virus. Hours before the woman's death in a Vientiane hospital Sunday, authorities said it would take several more days to determine whether she carried the dangerous H5N1 strain.

The woman lived near a village where bird flu has infected poultry.

Last month, health officials confirmed the country's first known human case of the disease in a 15-year-old girl who also lived near Vientiane.

Bird flu first appeared in Laos in 2004. It is known to have killed 167 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.