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2020-4-7 0:25:14

Vietnam to send specimens of suspected bird flu cases for testing
submited by kickingbird at Aug, 26, 2004 9:5 AM from Xinhua News Agency

  HANOI, Aug. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Vietnam will send a number of specimens from local people, who have recently been hospitalized after showing symptoms similar to those of bird flu, to World Health Organization (WHO)-operated labs in Japan.

    The WHO representative in Vietnam, Hans Troedsson, made the statement when holding an informal meeting with local and media here on Wednesday.

    To date, three Vietnamese people, two children from northern HaTay province and a young woman from southern Hau Giang have been confirmed to have contracted H5N1, he said, adding that much more studies on bird flu, especially ones relating to transmission route and mutation, are needed.

    "The WHO has offered labs in a number of countries for Vietnam to send specimens for testing. For our convenience, we will send specimens from patients, who have already been confirmed to have contracted flu viruses type A by us, to Japan for further characterization since the type A strain contains different subtypes, including H5N1," Le Thi Quynh Mai, expert from the Vietnam´s National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the meeting.

    Nine local people have been admitted to hospital for pneumonia treatment since mid-July this year, she said, adding that three ofthem were confirmed to have died of the virus strain of H5N1.

    "We have already tested 15 most suspected specimens from local patients. All of them tested positive to H5N1," she noted.

    Eleven southern localities, including the city of Can Tho and the provinces of Hau Giang, Long An, Bac Lieu, Tra Vinh, Dong Thap,Vinh Long, Tien Giang, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Kien Giang and Ben Tre, have been hit by bird flu, which has either killed or led to the forced culling of some 63,000 fowls, mainly chickens since late June.

    In late March 2004, Vietnam declared an end to bird flu that had killed 17 percent of its poultry population, and claimed 16 human lives since its previous outbreak last December. A total of 43.2 million fowls nationwide either died or were culled, causing direct losses of 1.3 trillion Vietnamese dong (82.8 million US dollars) to the local poultry industry.

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