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Cablegate: Vientiane Eac Meeting -- Avian Influenza

VZCZCXRO5104
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHVN #0184 0641035
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051035Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0963
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 7181
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2108
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0319
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0987
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0143
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0230
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0113
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1148
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0204
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 0521
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7757
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0133

UNCLAS VIENTIANE 000184

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR G, AVIAN INFLUENZA ACTION GROUP
DEPT FOR DS/IP/EAP
DEPT FOR CA
DEPT FOR INR
DEPT FOR EAP/MLS
DEPT FOR CA/OCS/ACS/EAP (VAUSE)
DEPT FOR EAP/EX
DEPT FOR EAP/EP
DEPT FOR INR
DEPT FOR OES/STC (PBATES)
DEPT FOR OES/IHA (SINGER AND COMELLA)
DEPT FOR MED
DEPT FOR DS/IP/EAP
DEPT PAQ USAID FOR ANE AND GH (CARROLL, CLEMENTS, AND
JENNINGS)
DEPT PASS TO HHS/OGHA (WSTEIGER, EELVANDER, AND ABHAT)
BANGKOK FOR RMO
BANGKOK FOR CDC
BANGKOK FOR USAID (JMACARTHUR AND MBRADY)
ROME FOR FAO
PACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC TBIO KFLU SOCI AMED AMGT CASC EAGR KPAO
LA
SUBJECT: VIENTIANE EAC MEETING -- AVIAN INFLUENZA

REF: A. STATE 174

B. STATE 163

1. (SBU) Summary: On March 5, the Emergency Action
Committee met to discuss the developing situation regarding
avian influenza (H5N1) in Laos. The Lao government announced
on March 4 that a probable second case of avian influenza in
humans had been identified, with confirmation pending further
testing. This patient developed symptoms on February 26 and
died in hospital on March 4. The EAC agreed to send out an
updated warden message with the new information. End summary.

2. (SBU) A 42-year-old woman in Ban Sakha village, Vientiane
province (approximately 52 kilometers from the capital city)
developed flu-like symptoms on February 26 and sought medical
attention at a local hospital on February 27. She was
transferred to the provincial hospital on February 28 and to
the Setthathirat Hospital in Vientiane Municipality on March
1. The Lao National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology
took samples on March 1 and detected H5. The patient died on
March 4. Samples have been sent to Japan for confirmation of
the N1 component of the virus; the CDC
representative/infectious disease coordinator at Post
believes the case will test positive for H5N1. Health
officials consider it likely that the patient, who lived in
an area where there was an outbreak of avian influenza in
poultry, contracted the illness through close contract with
poultry.

3. (SBU) The EAC decided to issue a new warden message
including the information about the death in what is likely
the second Lao case of human avian influenza and the first
fatality. This message, like previous warden messages on
avian influenza, will include reminders on how to avoid
contracting the illness. The committee determined that the
paucity of information available in Laos and the speed of the
rumor mill here create the need for a forward-leaning posture
from the Embassy as the outbreak reaches significant
milestones. The warden message was sent to CA for clearance.

4. (SBU) Embassy Center for Disease Control (CDC)
representative/Infectious Disease Coordinator and Embassy
Hanoi nurse practitioner Karen McGuire-Rugh, in Vientiane on
TDY, joined the EAC meeting to provide guidance on medical
issues.
HASLACH

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