Jun 29, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed two H5N1 cases from Vietnam dating back to late May and early June.
The cases raise Vietnam's H5N1 count to 95, while the number of fatalities for now remains at 42. Three other cases, which include two fatalities, have been announced by Vietnamese officials over the past few weeks but have not yet been confirmed by the WHO. If the WHO confirms all of the cases, Vietnam's avian flu case count would rise to 98 cases and 44 deaths.
Both cases have been confirmed by Vietnam's National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the WHO's reference laboratory at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the WHO said.
One patient, a 29-year-old man from Vinh Phuc province, got sick on May 10, some days after slaughtering chickens for a wedding, the WHO report said. He was hospitalized on May 15 and discharged on Jun 11.
The second case involves a 19-year-old man from Thai Nguyen province who got sick on May 20 after working in a poultry slaughterhouse, according to the WHO report. He was hospitalized on May 25 where he remains in stable condition.
Vietnam has been battling several H5N1 poultry outbreaks since early May. Most have occurred in the northern part of the country.
In other avian flu news, the agriculture ministry in Togo yesterday announced that independent tests conducted in Italy have confirmed the H5N1 avian influenza strain in samples from birds that died in a recent outbreak. The H5N1 outbreak, announced to Togo's health ministry on Jun 22, is the country's first and brought the number of African countries that have reported H5N1 outbreaks to 10.
Jun 29 WHO statement