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Cablegate: Northern Vietnam Food Poisoning Outbreak May Be Anthrax

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OO RUEHAST RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
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DE RUEHHI #0804 1930908
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110908Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA IMMEDIATE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8122
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4912
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3340
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5886
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1472
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0903
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0366
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1608
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE 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 HANOI 000804

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, INR, OES/STC, OES/IHA, MED,
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (STERN)
HHS/OSSI/DSI PASS TO FIC/NIH (RGLASS AND FENG-YING LIN) AND OGHA
(WSTIEGER/LVALDEZ/MABDOO)
USAID FOR ANE (CJENNINGS, MWARD) AND GH (KYAMASHITA, KHILL)
CDC FOR COGH (SBLOUNT), CCID (SREDD) AND DEOC
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC (MMALISON), USAID (MACARTHUR/ CBOWES), APHIS
(NCARDENAS), REO (JWALLER)
BEIJING FOR HHS HEALTH ATTACHE (BROSS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED ASEC PTER VM
SUBJECT: NORTHERN VIETNAM FOOD POISONING OUTBREAK MAY BE ANTHRAX

REF: A. HANOI 694 B. HANOI 588

1. (SBU) The Vietnamese media recently reported a food poisoning
outbreak in northern Ha Giang province, along the Chinese border,
resulting in at least two deaths. Early reports suggest an
epizootic association with anthrax and there is no known evidence of
bioterrorism. Officials acknowledge 420 cases, with three persons
remaining in critical condition, from the outbreak, which began on
June 21. According to the Ha Giang preventive health center,
victims from 90 families in rural Po Qua Hamlet in Meo Vac district
fell ill after consuming meat from two water buffalos belonging to a
local family. The family shared the meat after its two water
buffalos died of unknown causes.

2. (SBU) Earlier today, the Ministry of Health (MOH) sent an
investigative team, consisting of representatives from the Vietnam
Administration of Preventive Medicine (VAPM), the National Institute
of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), and the National Institute for
Infectious and Tropical Diseases (NIITD), to Ha Giang. Due to the
isolation of the province and poor transportation infrastructure, it
will take the team at least two days to arrive. The U.S. National
Institutes of Health has offered to collaborate with MOH, the Ha
Giang Provincial Preventive Medicine and Meo Vac District Health
Center in the investigation of this outbreak, primarily through
serologic testing and building laboratory capacity. The focus of
the collaboration would be aimed at serologic testing and building
laboratory capacity. The U.S. Embassy health attache continues to
discuss other possible U.S. assistance with NIHE, which is
implementing the Government of Vietnam response.

3. (U) Animal anthrax outbreaks occur sporadically in Vietnam,
though no water buffalo infections had been reported since last
year. We had not heard of a human case for several years. Vietnam
continues to suffer from numerous food borne disease outbreaks,
including four waves of cholera that have struck northern Vietnam
over the past several months (refs A and B), the most recent of
which continues to impact the Hanoi area.

MICHALAK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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