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Cablegate: Vietnam - September 15 Avian Influenza Report

VZCZCXRO7317
PP RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #2361/01 2581027
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151027Z SEP 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3388
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH PRIORITY 1816
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 2993
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 5579
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG PRIORITY 0988
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU PRIORITY 0721
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU PRIORITY 0260
RUEHSUN/USUN ROME IT PRIORITY
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI PRIORITY 1404
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP// PRIORITY
RHMFIS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHIGTON DC//DHO-3//
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1A//

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002361

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
SIPDIS

STATE FOR G, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP, EAP/EX, EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, INR, OES/STC,
OES/IHA, MED
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
STATE PASS TO USTR ELENA BRYAN
STATE PASS TO HHS/OGHA (WSTIEGER, EELVANDER AND ABHAT)
USDA PASS TO APHIS
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (LSTERN)
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID (JMACARTHUR AND MBRADY)
ROME FOR FAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU AMED AMGT CASC EAGR PINR SOCI VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM - SEPTEMBER 15 AVIAN INFLUENZA REPORT

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

REF: HANOI 2114 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) Summary. There have been no reported human AI cases and no
confirmed AI outbreak activity in poultry to date this year in
Vietnam. A suspected outbreak of AI in ducks was reported in Dong
Nai province in southern Vietnam. Vietnam has tested a vaccine for
white-winged ducks and will soon decide whether to begin widespread
vaccination. Vietnam announced that it had received USD 1 million
in assistance from the United States for H5N1 vaccine testing on
humans. At a meeting on September 6 to establish a coordinated
action plan to cope with any new outbreak, Vietnamese authorities
announced that procedures at airports and border entry points would
be tightened. End Summary.

2. (U) Outbreaks: There have been no reported human AI cases and
no confirmed AI outbreak activity in poultry to date this year in
Vietnam. The state-owned press reported that over 400 ducks were
culled in Vietnam's southern Dong Nai province in Ngoc Dinh commune
of Dinh Quan district after 100 ducks died suspiciously amid fears
bird flu might recur. Farmers in the province have over 80,000
ducks while those in provincial capital Bien Hoa have 126,000 quails
and 500 ducks. Live ducks have been illegally sold in the last few
days in the province.

3. (U) Vietnam will decide whether to vaccinate white-winged ducks
against bird flu virus or not by the end of this week after the
successful trial use of a vaccine produced by the Italian firm
Merial, local media reported. Over 80 percent of white-winged ducks
being vaccinated against an H5N9 virus strain in a trial vaccination
have developed immunity ability, according to Truong Van Dung,
director of the country's Veterinary Institute. While Vietnam has
instituted a national poultry vaccination campaign, animal health
authorities have yet to procure a suitable vaccine for the country's
white-winged duck population of nearly 10 million.

4. (U) Vietnam Gets USD 1 million in Assistance for H5N1 Vaccine
Testing on Humans: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has
approved the receipt of a grant of USD 1 million from the Department
of Health and Human Services to the National Institute of Hygiene
and Epidemiology to carry out a H5N1 vaccine trial program on
humans, Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien, the institute's director said on
September 6. The program follows national scientific research on
developing an effective vaccine against H5N1 from monkey's kidney
cells, which has brought good results after one year of testing on
animals, added Hien. The research has been submitted to the
Scientific Council of the Ministry of Science and Technology for
consideration and then will be presented to the Scientific Council
of the Ministry of Health (MoH) for final approval, the director
also said. Previously, the institute planned to carry out testing
of a locally-made H5N1 vaccine on humans in October. The institute
will conduct preliminary tests on 30 volunteers before entering the
second phase of testing in which they plan to continue trials on 300
people.

5. (U) Local press reported on September 6 that airport authorities
have tightened examination of passengers at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan
Son Nhat international airport, according to Southern Aviation
Authority Deputy General Director Vu Van Ngu. The deputy general
director announced the tighter assessment procedures at a meeting to
establish a coordinated action plan to cope with any new outbreak.

HANOI 00002361 002 OF 002


The new procedures - part of the action plan - would help identify
people suspected of infection and arrange for them to go to the
hospital as soon as possible. The Health Department would also
issue the aviation authority with daily bird flu reports from
throughout the world so that any arrivals could be monitored.
Health officials, airport customs officers and police and
representatives of the international health examination centre
attended the meeting. The plan was expected to be approved by the
following week with the Southern Aviation Authority responsible for
its implementation among the 25 international airlines that fly in
and out of HCM City.

6. (U) Local press also reported that the Customs Officers in Dien
Bien Province, bordering Laos, warn that examination of humans and
goods for bird flu at border gates has not yet been properly
implemented. The office reports that work has been entrusted to
provincial customs and border guard teams, but these teams,
previously confined to administrative procedures and tax and fees
collections, need help to do the job. During the first eight months
of this year, a total of 11,782 people were reported entering and
exiting with more than 200,000 tons of goods through the Tay Trang
border gate with Laos.

7. (U) As of September 15, 2006:

-- No human AI deaths since October 29, 2005
-- No human AI cases since November 14, 2005
-- No AI outbreaks in poultry since the last reported incident on
December 17, 2005 in Cao Bang Province

MARINE

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