Feb 21, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a new fatal H5N1 avian influenza case in Vietnam and confirmed three cases reported earlier in Indonesia and China, while Chinese authorities today reported still another fatal case.
The latest case confirmations by the WHO raise the agency's overall H5N1 count to 365 cases and 231 deaths, including 16 cases and 14 deaths so far this year. Twelve of those cases, including 10 fatal ones, were in Indonesia.
The new case in Vietnam involved a 27-year-old man in the northern province of Ninh Binh who fell ill Feb 3 and died Feb 14, the WHO said. He had had contact with sick and dead poultry before his illness.
Including his case, Vietnam has had 104 cases, 50 of them fatal, the WHO reported. This year the country has had three cases, all fatal.
The WHO has not yet confirmed the case in a 7-year-old child from Hai Duong province that was reported by Vietnamese authorities Feb 16.
China's newest H5N1 case is that of a 41-year-old man from southern China's Guangxi autonomous region, according to a Reuters report quoting the health ministry today. The man became ill Feb 12, was hospitalized 2 days later, and died yesterday, the story said. His is the country's second case this year.
The man had had contact with sick poultry. Officials have checked his contacts and found no illness so far, Reuters reported. The WHO has not yet registered the case.
Yesterday, however, the WHO did confirm China's first reported H5N1 case of this year, that of a 22-year-old man from Jianghua County in Hunan province. He fell ill Jan 16, was hospitalized Jan 23, and died Jan 24, the WHO said. His case was reported by Chinese authorities Feb 18.
An investigation into the source of his infection is continuing, the WHO said.
Today the WHO confirmed two fatal Indonesian cases that were reported earlier, one in a 16-year-old boy from Central Java province and the other in a 3-year-old boy from South Jakarta.
The 16-year-old got sick Feb 3, was hospitalized 4 days later, and died Feb 10, the WHO said. He had slaughtered a sick chicken at his home before his illness.
The 3-year-old boy died Feb 15 after a 12-day illness, including 5 days in a hospital, the WHO reported. Investigators found that chickens and a pet bird in the neighborhood had died in the 2 weeks before he got sick.
Indonesia has had a total of 129 H5N1 cases, including 105 deaths.
Feb 21 WHO statement on two cases in Indonesia
Feb 21 WHO statement on case in Vietnam
Feb 20 WHO statement on case in China