Avian flu infects two more Vietnamese, hits poultry in China

Jun 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – More human and poultry cases of H5N1 influenza are coming to light in Southeast Asia, with reports of two new human illnesses in Vietnam and a second poultry outbreak in China.

Two people from northern Vietnam were admitted to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi over the weekend and later tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to hospital director Tran Quy, who was quoted in the China Daily newspaper and other media reports.

The spate of confirmed cases in northern Vietnam in June brings CIDRAP's unofficial tally of Vietnamese cases since December 2004 to 63, of which 18 were fatal. The Thanh Nien Daily newspaper in Vietnam reported yesterday that 23 suspected cases of avian flu had been reported nationwide in the past week.

China reported that a second H5N1 outbreak has occurred among domestic birds in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. The outbreak killed 63 geese and ducks and infected at least 128, AFP said, citing new data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Authorities culled 1,490 birds on that farm and in nearby Changji city.

The earlier outbreak in that province occurred the first week of June and led to the deaths from illness or culling of more than 13,000 geese. In early May, China announced its first avian flu outbreak in 2005, which killed more than 1,000 migratory birds of five different species in Qinghai province, to the east of Xinjiang.

More information about the migratory bird outbreak may be forthcoming, as teams of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and FAO arrived in Qinghai province yesterday to inspect the outbreak area, according to Bloomberg news service. The teams obtained permission for the trip last week, but China rejected their request to travel to Xinjiang province.

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