Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vietnamese man might have bird flu - WHO

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam on Wednesday reported its first suspected human case of bird flu since November 2005 after a series of outbreaks in poultry.

State-run Tien Phong newspaper said tests performed at a Vietnamese laboratory confirmed the 30-year-old man was infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus.

The World Health Organisation said it was working with the government to investigate the case and the WHO needed to verify the virus sample.

The man comes from Vinh Phuc province near Hanoi and was admitted to a hospital in the capital for treatment, the newspaper said.

“This is the first suspected human case since November 2005 and the procedures are the government, the Health Ministry share the sample with WHO for verification at a WHO laboratory,” said Hans Troedsson, the WHO’s representative in Vietnam.

He said finding the suspected patient was not alarming if it was an isolated case.

Troedsson said in one respect the suspected case was good news because it showed Vietnam’s surveillance system for bird flu was working. The WHO has described Vietnam’s mass poultry vaccination programme and other measures as a model for keeping the virus at bay since late 2005.

Officials and doctors at the Hanoi hospital could not be reached for comment.

Tien Phong said the man developed a fever and had difficulty breathing two days after he helped slaughter chickens at a friend’s wedding about a month ago.

He went to a clinic in Vinh Phuc before his health worsened and he was taken to Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi where his lungs were X-rayed. Doctors said he was in serious condition.

Bird flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 05/23 at 04:30 AM
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