Mar 5, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported another human H5N1 avian influenza illness in Vietnam, while an online newspaper reported two more cases in poultry market workers in Bangladesh.
The patient in Vietnam is a 22-year-old man from Thanh Hoa province who lived and worked in Binh Duong province, the WHO reported, citing Vietnam's Ministry of Health. He got sick on Feb 17, sought medical care on Feb 21, and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases on Feb 23, the agency said. He received oseltamivir on entering hospital, where he remained today.
The Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City confirmed the man's H5N1 infection Feb 25, the statement said.
Epidemiologic investigators from the institute found that the man was involved in slaughtering and eating ducks, the WHO said. It said some close contacts of the patient have had fever and received prophylactic treatment, but all have tested negative for the virus.
Vietnam has had 122 confirmed H5N1 cases, of which 61—exactly half—were fatal, the WHO noted. The agency's global H5N1 count has now reached 592 cases with 349 deaths.
Meanwhile in Bangladesh, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said it confirmed two more H5N1 cases in live-bird market workers in Dhaka yesterday, according to a bdnews24.com report today. A case in a poultry market worker was reported last week and confirmed by the WHO on Mar 2.
The story gave no information on the patients' condition, but the IEDCR director said the strain that circulates in Bangladesh, clade 2.2, is less virulent than some. The man whose case was reported last week fully recovered.
A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization expert on avian flu, Nitish C. Debnath, said the government should immediately launch a campaign to clean Dhaka's "wet markets," the story said.
The two new cases bring the total number of H5N1 cases in Bangladesh to six, the story noted. The first case was reported in 2008. The two latest cases have not yet been noted by the WHO.
Mar 5 WHO statement
Mar 5 WHO cumulative H5N1 case count