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Eight Bird Flu Cases Confirmed in Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary

May 6, 2005

>>  The ministry has provided WHO with official confirmation of an additional eight human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, the organization said, noting that two of the cases were recently detected, between
April 2 and April 8, in the northern provinces of Hung Yen and Ha Tay, respectively. Both patients are alive. The other six cases are thought to have been detected prior to April 2. <<

Since it is May 6, cases detected between April 2 and April 8 would not qualify as "recent".  Lack of information of the six cases prior to April 2 is not helpful.  It seems likely that the 34-year old physician from Vietnam Sweden hospital in Thai Ninh would be among the H5N1 positive cases.  He developed symptoms on April 1 and died April 3, so it is unclear if he would be among the six detected prior to April 2.  He could be the fatality announced last month that had no associated age or gender.

The delay in announcing these cases hinders monitoring or treating contacts.  Moreover, the results on the 1000 samples collected in March, and sent to the CDC, have not been made public.  These samples would have included commune members in Quang Binh.  The delay in reporting cases and lack of transparency in most of the cases tested, reduces the potential of any intervention to control efficient human-to-human transmission, which would appear to be happening at a high but unreported level.

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