Feb 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Three more cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Vietnam, one of them fatal, were confirmed over the weekend and today, sparking concern over a more widespread outbreak, according to numerous news service reports.
Health officials in Vietnam said today that the 14-year-old sister of a young Vietnamese man confirmed last Friday as having H5N1 has also tested positive for the disease. The two, from the northern Thai Binh province, ate a traditional chicken meal at a friend's home during Lunar New Year celebrations recently.
The young man and his sister are hospitalized at Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, the former in critical condition. Their family does not raise chickens, but outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry have occurred in their community.
Vietnamese officials have also confirmed that a 69-year-old man from Thai Binh province who died last Wednesday had H5N1 influenza, according to numerous news reports. He, like the siblings above, had eaten chicken over the Lunar New Year. No others in his family have exhibited symptoms.
Still another H5N1 infection from the Thai Binh province, this one involving a 36-year-old man, has also been confirmed, according to an item in ProMED-mail citing a Xinhuanet News Agency story yesterday. The patient is reportedly being treated in Hanoi.
These cases bring the number of patients in Vietnam with confirmed H5N1 disease since mid-December 2004 to 20, with 13 fatalities.