Two human H5N1 cases noted; poultry outbreaks expand

Nov 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Two more human cases of H5N1 avian influenza have been confirmed in recent days in Vietnam and Indonesia, while poultry outbreaks are spreading in China and Romania.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed Nov 25 that a 15-year-old boy from Vietnam's Haiphong province has H5N1 infection, which Vietnamese authorities announced last week. The boy has been discharged from a hospital and is recovering, the WHO said. He is the 66th Vietnamese to contract avian flu.

A 16-year-old boy was confirmed today as having Indonesia's 12th avian flu case, according to a Nov 26 report by Agence France-Presse (AFP). He was hospitalized in good condition in the West Java capital of Bandung, said Hariadi Wibisono of the Indonesian health industry, as quoted by AFP.

"Tests [on blood] taken from the 16-year-old boy, both locally and by the World Health Organization, show that he is a bird flu patient," Wibisono said. The WHO hasn't updated its case count to reflect confirmation of the case.

The WHO said it would send a team to the eastern Chinese province of Anhui to investigate human deaths from H5N1, according to the English version of the China People's Daily Online. Two deaths have been confirmed in that province.

China wrestles with poultry outbreaks
China has reported seven new outbreaks in poultry in less than 10 days, according to the English version of the Chinese People's Daily Online on Nov 25. Outbreaks have led to the culling of about 17,000 birds in an Inner Mongolian village, according to a Nov 25 report China filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Bloomberg News reported on Nov 26 that China has had 27 poultry outbreaks this year.

Romanian poultry case outside Danube delta
Romanian officials found the H5N1 virus in a remote village 70 miles from the Danube River delta, leading to a cull of roughly 17,000 poultry in the village of Scarlatesti, Reuters news service reported on Nov 26. Samples from a turkey in Scarlatesti were positive in initial testing in Romania; follow-up testing will occur in a laboratory near London, the story said.

The cull in Scarlatesti led to the firing of two of the country's chief veterinarians, Reuters reported today, after a television station aired film showing inhumane culling.

A private TV station showed footage of a man wringing the neck of a goose and then throwing the bird into a fire. The Reuters report indicates some birds were not dead before being thrown into the flames.

Animal rights groups were angered and said that Romania wasn't complying with standards it must meet to succeed in its bid to join the European Union, Reuters reported. Poisoning with gas is a generally approved method for culling large flocks, Reuters said, citing experts who insist that any culling method must be safe, humane, and efficient.

See also:

WHO confirmation of 66th Vietnamese case
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_11_25/en/index.html

China's Nov 25 and Nov 23 reports to OIE
http://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/China%20Follow-up%20report%20No10.pdf
ftp://ftp.oie.int/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/infos_san_archives/eng/2005/en_051125v18n47.pdf

Romania's Nov 27 reports to OIE
http://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/Romania%20Follow%20up%20No10.pdf
http://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/Romania%20Follow%20up%20No9.pdf

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