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Cablegate: Avian Influenza Update - New Human Fatality

VZCZCXRO8431
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHHI #1444/01 2251406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131406Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6082
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 3521
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3190
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5754
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1247
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0823
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0320
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1525
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP//
RHMFISS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-3//
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1A//
RUEHSUN/USUN ROME IT

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001444

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, AIAG, OES/IHA, MED
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
STATE PASS TO HHS/OGHA (STIEGER/VALDEZ/BELL/HICKEY)
CDC FOR OGHA (BLOUT/MCCALL) AND DIV-FLU (COX/MOHEN)
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (STERN)
HHS PASS TO FIC/NIH (GLASS)
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC (MALISON), USAID (MACARTHUR/BRADY)
BEIJING FOR HHS HEALTH ATTACHE (ROSS)
PHNOM PENH FOR CDC INFLUENZA COORDINATOR(BRADY)
VIENTIANE FOR CDC INFLUENZA COORDINATOR (CORWIN)
ROME FOR FAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED AMGT CASC EAGR PINR KFLU VM
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE - NEW HUMAN FATALITY

REF: A) HANOI 1265; B) HANOI 1365

HANOI 00001444 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary: On August 7, the Government of Vietnam (GVN)
reported the death of a 15 year-old boy from Thanh Hoa province
infected with the H5N1 strain of highly pathologic avian influenza.
The case appears isolated and not related to larger poultry
outbreaks or human clusters. Outbreaks of AI in poultry have
substantially dropped off, as previously reported (ref A). End
Summary.

Report of Isolated Human Death
------------------------------

2. (U) On August 7, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported the death
from AI of a 15 year-old boy from Thanh Hoa province, approximately
85 miles south of Hanoi. The victim reportedly became ill on July
27, after exposure to a batch of hatchling ducks his family had
purchased from a neighboring commune. The ducks became ill and died
soon after purchase. The boy entered a local hospital on August 2,
which placed him on mechanical ventilation. He died en route to
Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi on August 3. RT-PCR testing at a
national laboratory confirmed H5N1 infection. Vietnamese officials
report no evidence of poultry outbreaks in the area surrounding his
home or elsewhere in the province. The MOH placed close contacts of
the patient on Tamiflu. This case marks the seventh reported human
case and the fourth death reported since May 2007. On July 28, a
pregnant 22-year old woman from Ha Tay province, proximal to Hanoi,
succumbed to AI (ref B).

Animal Outbreaks Remain Low
----------------------------------
3. (U) Avian influenza outbreak activity in poultry dropped markedly
in July and has remained low since. The week of June 29 was the
peak of activity in the fifth outbreak wave that began May 1 with 29
outbreaks recorded. To date, 3 provinces remain under observation,
having had outbreaks in the past 21 days: Pien Bien (10
wards/communes), Dong Thap (4 communes) and Quang Binh (1 commune).
An August 8, 2007 report of dead poultry in Dien Bien led to the
Sub-District of Animal Health culling one household's ducks and
chickens; however it is unknown if authorities took samples to
diagnose H5N1 and if so, the results of those samples. The first AI
vaccination campaign of 2007 continues with a total of 160.5 million
birds vaccinated thus far, including 86.62M chickens, 70.08M ducks
and 3.83M muscovy ducks. Large livestock companies additionally
administered over 32.55 million doses of TROVAC vaccine.

Human and Animal Sample Sharing
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) During a farewell call on outgoing Minister of Health
Chien, the Ambassador noted the need for timely submission of
clinical specimens from suspected cases to the World Health
Organization (WHO) for independent reference laboratory
confirmation. (Note: As reported in ref. B, the GVN has provided
specimens from only two of the first six human cases reported since
May 2007 to WHO for confirmatory testing, despite repeated
requests.) Minister Chien agreed on the importance of rapid sample
sharing.


HANOI 00001444 002.2 OF 002


5. (U) On the animal health side, the GVN continues to promptly
provide samples. Since 2004, the National Center of Veterinary
Diagnosis (NCVD), Department of Animal Health, Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has consistently sent the
isolates of avian influenza to the CDC Influenza Division in
Atlanta. In March and July of this year, NCVD sent HPAI isolates to
CDC, and has also dispatched samples to the Australian Animal Health
Laboratory. The Regional Animal Health Center in Ho Chi Minh City
also reported sending poultry samples from southern Vietnam directly
to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory though the NCVD has yet
to confirm this.

No Confirmation of Vietnamese Mediation with Indonesia
--------------------------------------------- ---------

6. (U) Earlier this month, The Chinese Xinhua news service
published a report that Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung
was traveling to Indonesia to "mediate Indonesia's dispute with the
WHO over the provision of samples." Local press reports instead
have highlighted Vietnamese-Indonesian discussions of trade and the
fight against corruption, lumping health care and epidemics into a
laundry list of other issues covered. However, MOH Vice-Minister
Cao Minh Quang, whose portfolio covers pharmaceuticals, accompanied
the Prime Minister on the trip raising the possibility that the two
nations discussed this issue. We will seek more information.


MARINE

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