Apr 4, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A 27-year-old woman in central Vietnam has tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published today.
The woman tested positive yesterday and is hospitalized in stable condition, Nguyen Van Nuoi, a physician at the main hospital in Ha Tinh province, told AFP. She was admitted Mar 29 with a high fever, which has since abated, he said.
Unofficially, Vietnam now has had 34 cases of avian flu, 15 of them fatal, in the series that began last December.
Nuoi said the patient's family had raised eight ducks, and she had eaten duck meat, the AFP report said. Test results on the ducks were being awaited.
Also today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Vietnam's Ministry of Health has officially confirmed the family cluster of five avian flu cases in Haiphong that was first reported in the news media Mar 29. The earlier reports said initial tests were positive for avian flu and that further tests were pending.
With the official confirmation, the WHO increased its overall count of human cases since late 2003 to 79; the death toll remained the same at 49. CIDRAP's unofficial count, based on media and WHO reports, is 81 cases with 50 deaths.
The WHO said the infected family includes a father, age 35, mother, 33, and three daughters, 13 years, 10 years, and 4 months. The statement did not list their condition, but a Vietnam News Service (VNS) report on Mar 30 said all five were in stable condition and recovering.
Another patient, 5-year-old Hoang Trong Duong of central Vietnam's Quang Binh province, was discharged from a hospital today, according to the newspaper Thanh Nien News. He had been hospitalized in Hue for 23 days, the story said.
Meanwhile, Vietnam today launched a "a nationwide awareness campaign for better sanitation and hygiene" to both combat and monitor avian flu, according to a VNS report. "Concerned ministries and agencies need to monitor poultry business and transport in markets, and set up joint teams to spray disinfectant on poultry this month," the story said.
In the United States, President Bush issued an order Apr 1 allowing authorities to detain or isolate anyone suspected of having avian flu when arriving in the country on an international flight, according to an Apr 1 Reuters report.
The order added pandemic influenza to the list of diseases for which quarantine is authorized, the story said. Pandemic flu was defined as a new or re-emergent strain to which the population has little or no immunity.
According to the story, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said there was no evidence of any immediate risk of avian flu to the public, but the step was a pragmatic one to give health officials authority to protect the public.
Apr 4 WHO update
CIDRAP avian flu case-count tables