Feb 1, 2012
Vietnam reports H5N1 death
Vietnam today reported its second death from H5N1 avian flu this year, after confirming no cases of the disease for almost 2 years, according to a report from Tuoi Tre News. Ministry of Health officials confirmed that a 26-year-old woman from Soc Trang province was hospitalized Jan 23 with a fever and other symptoms and died Jan 28. Tests conducted at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City confirmed H5N1, the story said. The woman had slaughtered poultry and eaten "infected meat" in an area that had experienced a mass poultry die-off. Soc Trang is in the Mekong Delta.
Canada calls for highest precautions for engineered H5N1
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) ruled today that work on engineered H5N1 avian flu viruses capable of spreading efficiently in ferrets must be undertaken only in containment level 4 facilities, those with the strictest biosafety measures. PHAC announced the decision in a biosafety advisory that referred to recent studies on H5N1 transmission in ferrets, including the two submitted to Science and Nature that a US biosecurity panel on Dec 20 asked not to be published in their entirety because of biosecurity concerns. Today's advisory states, "H5N1 viruses capable of efficient human-to-human transmission, including via aerosols or the airborne route, are considered Risk Group 4 human pathogens and require Containment Level 4 physical containment and operational practices." The agency adds, "No containment requirements are stipulated for non-proliferative clinical/diagnostic activities based on the fact that this virus is currently not in circulation."
Feb 1 PHAC advisory