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Cablegate: Vietnam - Avian Flu Update #2

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HANOI 000199

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

FOR CA/OCS/ACS/EAP; EAP/EX; EAP/BCLTV
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC
STATE PASS HHS
USDA FOR FAS/PASS TO APHIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMED AMGT CASC EAGR TBIO VM AFLU
SUBJECT: VIETNAM - AVIAN FLU UPDATE #2


--------------
CURRENT STATUS
--------------

1. (U) According to WHO, there are currently 53 possible
cases of avian influenza in humans in Vietnam; of these,
eight have been confirmed (of which 7 have died), nine are
possible cases, and 36 are under investigation. A total of
18 cases under investigation have resulted in death as of
January 26. WHO is sending several more team members to
Vietnam; they are due to arrive on January 28. New members
of the WHO team in Vietnam now include a local Vietnamese
epidemiologist who will serve as liaison with the GVN.


------------------------
ADDRESSING PAST CONCERNS
------------------------

2. (U) CULLING - PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE):
CONCERNS REMAIN ABOUT THE SLOWNESS OF THE GVN TO PROVIDE PPE
TO THOSE INVOLVED IN CULLING AND DESTRUCTION OF AFFECTED
POULTRY. FOR REASONS NOT YET KNOWN TO US, THE JAPANESE
AMBASSADOR IN HANOI HAS RETRACTED AN OFFER TO PURCHASE A
LARGE SUPPLY OF PPE MADE LAST WEEK BY JICA (THE JAPANESE
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY). REGIONAL WHO DIRECTOR
DR. OMI IS MEETING WITH THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR ON JANUARY
27 TO TRY TO PERSUADE HIM OF THE URGENCY OF THE SITUATION.

3. (U) Culling - Adequacy: GVN Ministry of Agriculture
(MOA) is now taking more aggressive steps to improve culling
efforts in Vietnam. According to MOA, 15,000 Vietnamese
workers are currently involved in culling activities in 28
Vietnamese provinces.

4. (U) Human-to-human transmission: Human-to-human
transmission is now under "active investigation," according
to the GVN's National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology
(NIHE) and WHO, in the 53 cases currently under
investigation, and laboratory research indicates high
homology (similarity in structure and sequence) between
human and avian viruses in Vietnam. Not all cases under
investigation report clear or obvious exposure to poultry.

5. (U) Laboratory services: The WHO team continues to
impress upon VN the importance of shipping specimens out to
international labs for both vaccine development and testing.
BURGHARDT

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