Vietnamese find another case of avian flu

May 17, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Another man has contracted H5N1 avian influenza in northern Vietnam, only 4 days after the previous case dashed hopes of a respite from the outbreak.

A 58-year-old man from Thanh Hoa was hospitalized at the Institute of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi on May 13, Reuters news service said today. Subsequent tests have confirmed he has the H5N1 virus.

Nguyen Dang Ngoan, director of the Thanh Hoa provincial Preventive Medicine Center, told the Associated Press (AP) that dead chickens had been reported in the man's yard a month ago and that the family slaughtered chickens for meals. He developed a high fever, coughing, and breathing difficulties Apr 20 and tested positive May 15, the AP reported today.

A 52-year-old man from Vinh Phuc province, identified last week as Cao The Hai (previously listed as 55 years old), was admitted to the same hospital on May 12, Reuters reported. His case was the first reported in about 3 weeks. Both men were in stable condition, a doctor at the hospital told the media.

"We are now treating two H5N1 patients and they are in good condition," a doctor told Agence France-Presse (AFP), for a story published today.

Authorities in the two provinces have quarantined the patients' homes and are monitoring family members for illness, AFP reported.

Unofficially, the two latest cases bring the number of Vietnamese diagnosed with H5N1 since late December 2004 to 43. Sixteen of those people died.

Initial tests on a 20-year-old Cambodian woman from Kampot Province suspected of having H5N1 were negative, said Phan Van Tu, chief virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, as reported in today's AP story.

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