Monday, February 20, 2017

OIE Notification: Vietnam Reports H5N6 & H5N1 Outbreaks


While it keeps a very wary eye on China's expanding H7N9 epidemic, Vietnam finds itself once again dealing with sporadic outbreaks of H5N1 and H5N6.  Today they've notified the OIE of poultry outbreaks in the southern province of  Bac Lieu (H5N1), and the central province of  Quang Ngai (H5N6).  
Vietnam was one of the earliest countries to be affected by the H5N1 virus, and for a time, lead the world in human cases and deaths; reporting 90 cases and 39 deaths over a 2 year period (2004-2005).
Through aggressive culling, poultry vaccination, and public education, by 2006 they’d gone from being the worst afflicted country in the world to being viewed as the `poster child’ for successful bird flu containment.  Human cases, and outbreaks - while they still occurred over the next few years- were dramatically reduced. 
While H5N1 would return sporadically over the years, and HPAI H5N6 showed up in the summer of 2014 for the first time, we've not seen a human avian flu infection reported from Vietnam since two H5N1 cases were reported in 2014.  

We've seen a flurry of media reports over the past few weeks warning of the risks of seeing H7N9 enter the country, and today we've the following report of an emergency meeting of their Health Ministry to discuss options.

This report from VietnamNet.

Vietnam detected avian influenza 5 drives, expanded surveillance
20/02/2017 19:29 GMT + 7

- Vietnam has detected four cases of H5N1, H5N6 and 1 drive continues to face the risk of H7N9 infection.

First of complicated movements of bird flu, the Health Ministry this afternoon held an emergency meeting to find solutions to respond.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said, so far Vietnam has not recorded influenza A H7N9, but the risk translated Vietnam huge intrusion as China - the world's largest outbreak has nearly 200 deaths, file 2 centered in Yunnan province and Guangxi, bordering Vietnam.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Long presided over an emergency meeting to discuss measures for bird flu prevention

"Worryingly, H7N9 influenza virus do not become evident in poultry. Chickens, ducks carrying the virus but should normally healthy people very subjective, "Mr. Long noted.

A dangerous type of flu H5N1 and H5N6 Equally though not detected any cases in humans, but there have been four outbreaks.

Dam Xuan Thanh, deputy director of the Department of Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said, even in the morning, authorities discovered one outbreak of H5N1 in three households in the commune Online Thuan, Truc Ninh, Nam Dinh, forced destruction more than 4,600 ducks. Also 2 H5N1 outbreak in Phu Dong district, Bac Lieu and 1 drive in Dien Chau, Nghe An.

Also during this time, has recorded outbreak of avian influenza H5N6 in Pho Cuong Commune, Duc Pho district, Quang Ngai province.

Before the risk of flu spread to humans, Mr. Long requested the Pasteur Institute 3 regions to strengthen monitoring, sampling a wider audience for both these cases have mild symptoms, especially in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, where We have a large Chinese tourists.

Exactly why H7N9 has thrived so well in China, yet hasn't spread beyond its borders via migratory birds - as we've seen with H5N1, H5N8, and H5N6 - remains a bit of a mystery. 

One theory holds that it doesn't infect wild and migratory birds as readily as poultry, although studies have shown some wild birds are certainly susceptible (see USGS : Experimental Challenge Of European Starlings With Avian H7N9).
But, with a constantly evolving virus, just because it hasn't - that doesn't mean it won't. And we've much to learn about the new HPAI variant reported this past weekend in Gaungdong province.

When you add in human and poultry vectors, multiple bird flu threats (H5N6, H5N8, H5N1, and H7N9), and a long and porous border with China, then Vietnam has ample reasons to be concerned.

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