Vietnam reports H5N1 fatality

Jan 23, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Vietnam said today that a 32-year-old man has died of H5N1 avian influenza, signaling the country's first reported case and death of the new year.

The man was from northern Vietnam's Tuyen Quang province, about 50 miles northwest of Hanoi, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. If his case is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), he will be listed as Vietnam's 102nd case-patient and its 48th fatality from the disease.

To Doan Hong, of the provincial Preventive Medicine Center, told the AP that the man died last week, 2 days after he was admitted to the nation's tropical disease hospital in Hanoi. Hong said the man got sick after slaughtering and cooking geese and chickens that had died on his backyard farm on Jan 9, according to the AP report. Samples from poultry were also positive for the virus, he said.

Samples from the man's family and neighbors have tested negative for the H5N1 virus, and officials have disinfected the man's house, along with areas in his neighborhood, Hong told the AP.

Tuyen Quang is one of four provinces that are currently on the Vietnamese government's avian flu watch list, the AP report said.

Vietnam's last human H5N1 case was confirmed by the WHO on Dec 28. The patient was a 4-year-old boy from Son La province who died on Dec 16 after 5 days in the hospital. The WHO had said the source of the boy's infection was still under investigation. The country has the second-highest avian flu case count, after Indonesia.

In other developments, the WHO today confirmed Indonesia's latest H5N1 case, that of a 32-year-old man from Tangerang, a suburb of Jakarta, who is being treated in a Jakarta hospital. His case raises the WHO's H5N1 count for Indonesia to 120 cases with 97 deaths; the global count is 352 cases with 219 deaths.

The man got sick on Jan 13 and was hospitalized 6 days later, according to a statement from the WHO. Investigators are trying to determine the source of his infection. According to a report yesterday from Indonesia's National Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, the man is a sales executive at an automobile company.

See also:

Jan 23 WHO statement

Jan 22 CIDRAP News story "Indonesia reports another H5N1 case"

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