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Chau Hoa Commune in Quang Binh H5N1 Positive?

Recombinomics Commentary

April 8, 2005

>>  The UN gives an account of the example of Chau Hoa commune in Quang Binh province. Here, in February, around 200 people contracted the H5N1 virus in the initial stage after eating chicken meat at New Year festivities. Phan Huy Hoang, deputy head of the province, said: "Our veterinary officials learned that some chickens were killed during the Tet, but we were not informed of the fact that it was bird flu, so we did not inform the authorities in Hanoi and we did not monitor the situation."  <<

The results from Quang Binh have not been reported.  Initially 195 people were reported to have flu-like conditions.  Samples were collected from 30 patients and several were transferred to Hue.  In one family the index case died and the 5 year-old brother was confirmed to be H5N1 positive.  He has since recovered and been released.

The results from the 30 tested have not been released, although samples were sent to Hanoi 2 weeks ago.  The above comments suggest the patients were positive, but it is not clear if the comments have been corroborated by unreleased lab data.

If the commune really was positive for H5N1, most had mild symptoms and recovered without hospitalization.  This result would suggest that H5N1 is widespread in humans in Vietnam and is efficiently transmitted.

The positive result mentioned above may explain the failure to officially release the data, which should have been determined some time ago.

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