Vietnamese man hospitalized with H5N1 infection

Feb 27, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – A 22-year-old man in Vietnam is in critical condition with an H5N1 avian influenza infection, according to media reports.

Nguyen Van Vin Chau, Ho Chi Minh City's director of tropical diseases, said the man is from Binh Duong province, located in the southeastern part of the country, Asia News Network (ANN) reported today. He was hospitalized on Feb 23 after experiencing a high fever and respiratory symptoms.

Samples were positive for H5N1, and the man is receiving treatment, according to the report. The investigation so far has found that during the Tet holiday the man ate chicken and duck from unknown origins in two different provinces and in Ho Chi Minh City.

So far this year Vietnam has reported three H5N1 infections, including two deaths, after recording none in 2011. All three cases have been in adults. If the World Health Organization confirms the new case, it will be listed as Vietnam's 122nd case, which includes 61 deaths.

In other news, Vietnam is stepping up efforts to battle H5N1 in poultry, Viet Nam News (VNN) reported Feb 25. Diep Kanh Tan, deputy minister of agriculture, said authorities are constructing a map to identify different strains of the virus in different areas. He said the map will be used to guide the type of poultry vaccine to be used in each area.

Currently, only one type of vaccine is used—and the country is importing 50 million doses of it—but it's for a strain of H5N1 prevalent only in the southern part of the country.

An official in Hai Duong province told VNN that failure to identify and vaccinate against the exact strain played a role in H5N1's rapid spread in the province.

So far this year about 52,000 birds have been culled in 12 Vietnamese provinces, according to the report.

According to a Feb 24 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Vietnam's latest H5N1 outbreak struck backyard birds in a village in Nam Dinh province, which is in the Red River delta area of northern Vietnam. The virus killed 100 birds, and 80 more were destroyed to curb the spread of the disease.

See also:

Feb 27 ANN story

Feb 25 VNN story

Feb 24 OIE report

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