Jan 24, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Three more confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza—two of them fatal—have been reported in Vietnam since Jan 21.
The latest cases, which involved a teenager and a man and woman in their 30s, bring the number of confirmed fatal cases in Vietnam since late December to nine, according to media reports.
A 35-year-old woman from the southern province of Dong Thap died of avian flu in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital Jan 21, according to a Jan 22 Associated Press (AP) report. She fell ill a week after slaughtering a duck, but family members who ate the duck did not become ill, the report said.
Tests also confirmed avian flu in a 17-year-old boy from the southern province of Bac Lieu who died Jan 15, according to the AP report and an Agence France-Presse report. A local health official said the boy had slaughtered a chicken before he became sick.
Today, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that a 36-year-old man from Thai Binh province in northern Vietnam has tested positive for avian flu and is in stable condition in a Hanoi hospital. He is the brother of two men in their 40s whose cases were reported last week.
One of the two older brothers, identified by Xinhua as Nguyen Huu Viet, 47, died Jan 9. The other is 42-year-old Nguyen Thanh Hung, who also was in stable condition in Hanoi, according to Xinhua. The 42-year-old reportedly had spent some time caring for his older brother during the latter's illness.
All three brothers had shared a dish containing raw duck blood, according to Xinhua and other media reports. The World Health Organization said last week that the brothers might have acquired the virus from that meal but that Vietnamese officials also were looking into the possibility of person-to-person transmission among them.
The state-controlled Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported today that the 36-year-old brother, whom it identified as Nguyen Huu Hung, has recovered and is preparing to leave the hospital. The said he "had been diagnosed early and given the right treatment," but it didn't describe the treatment.