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Cablegate: Vietnam - Avian Flu Update #3

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

UNCLAS HANOI 000222

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 #3


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

1. (U) There are currently 58 cases of suspected avian
influenza in humans in Vietnam under investigation. Of these
10 have been confirmed as H5N1 in the laboratory. Of the 58
cases under investigation, 20 deaths have occurred. The WHO
met with senior GVN officials on January 27th and made the
following recommendations: stronger efforts must be made to
remove the animal reservoir of the virus, human and
agricultural surveillance must be improved, and protection
of people at risk (those destroying diseased birds and
medical workers) must be improved. The WHO further
recommended that the Minister of Agriculture (MOA)
personally chair the interagency working group that has been
established within the GVN.

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

2. (U) CULLING - PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE): THE
WESTERN PACIFIC REGIONAL OFFICE (WPRO) OF WHO HAS REQUESTED
ADDITIONAL PPE TO PROTECT POULTRY WORKERS BUT SO FAR NO
DONOR COUNTRY HAS AGREED TO COVER THE COSTS OF THESE ORDERS.
CONSEQUENTLY, THIS NEED REMAINS UNMET.

3. (U) Culling - Adequacy: The 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.
As of January 27th, 3.7 million poultry have died - 80% as a
result of culling, 20% as a result of the disease.

4. (U) Human-to-human transmission: Active investigation
to determine if human-to-human transmission continues. WHO
and National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE)
epidemiologists are now visiting cases and their families in
rural areas. A study to investigate possible transmission to
healthcare workers who care for H5N1 patients will begin
this week.

5. (U) Laboratory services: NIHE laboratories are now
working to test the backlog of specimens that developed over
the Tet holidays. Two suspected cases (now deceased) have
been confirmed as H5N1 infections.

--------------------
REGIONAL COOPERATION
--------------------

6. (U) Representatives from Vietnam's Ministries of Health
and Agriculture are attending the ministerial-level regional
cooperation meetings in Bangkok.
BURGHARDT

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