US embassy cable - 04HANOI199

VIETNAM - AVIAN FLU UPDATE #2

Identifier: 04HANOI199
Wikileaks: View 04HANOI199 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2004-01-27 10:21:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: AMED AMGT CASC EAGR TBIO VM AFLU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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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