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Acute Pneumonia in Suspect Bird Flu Cases in Northern Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
January 19, 2005

>>But a physician from Hanoi's Clinical Institute for Tropical Disease denied that the 48-year-old man had avian flu, according to a report today from the state news service Viet Nam News. The story quoted officials as saying no human cases have yet been confirmed in northern Vietnam.<<

The quote above does not indicate that the 48M from the north tested negative, just that his death has not been conformed to have been from bird flu.  Thus, it seems that there are still 3 suspect cases (62M, 48M, brother of 48M) in the north who have acute pneumonia.  None have been confirmed, but one (48M) has died.

The demographics for the three cases in the north differs from the cases in the south where there are 6 confirmed cases.  Five have died, including a 35F hired to dispose of chickens and a 9M who swam in water containing dead poultry.  The sixth confirmed case (18F) in the south has a sister (15F) among the 10 suspect cases in the south.  One of the suspect cases has died.

The new demographic in the north is of concern because of the high frequency of asymptomatic ducks who are positive for H5N1.  Keeping H5N1 from these ducks out of the food supply will be difficult since the virus grows to high titers and is unusually stable, yet the ducks appear to be healthy..

Test results in the suspect cases and sequence data from H5N1 from this season would be useful.
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