The Associated Press is reporting at at least five more infants died after drinking melamine-tainted formula than the three the official numbers count. The news agency also reports that lawyers, doctors and reporters have said privately that authorities pressured them to not play up the human cost or efforts to get compensation from the government or Sanlu Group, the formula maker. The Health ministry declined to say if it is investigating deaths and illnesses not yet counted by the government, the AP says.
The five babies the AP says are missing from the official count are all recorded as having died from kidney failure, the most likely cause of death from melamine poisoning. Given that more than 50,000 infants were hospitalized as a result of the health scare, more than three deaths is not unlikely.