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March 13, 2005

Avian influenza - situation in Viet Nam: 10 more cases

Topics: Health Issues

As I've said many times before, an avian influenza pandemic just might be inevitable anyway. It would be a very good idea for all governments to prepare for it now as we've said numerous times but especially  here, here, here, and here.

Let's recall that the gene pool of influenza A viruses in aquatic birds provides all of the genetic diversity required for human and lower animals. Host range selection of the receptor binding specificity of the influenza virus hemagglutinin occurs during maintenance of the virus in different host cells that express different receptor sialo-sugar chains. In other words, it's always just a short hop away from humans, so watch out, it's first jumps have already occured, and it's still coming! Today, WHO has more:

- WHO 11 March 2005
The Ministry of Health in Viet Nam has today confirmed an additional 10 cases of human infection with H5N1 avian influenza. Today's report is an official notification to WHO of some recent cases, whose infection was detected in March, combined with retrospective notification of older cases, some of which date back to late January. Of these newly reported cases, three have been fatal.

This notification of cases follows new reporting procedures established within the Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO staff in Hanoi.

Today's official report brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases in Viet Nam, detected since mid-December 2004, to 24. Of these, 13 have been fatal.

Hat tip - Roth Report, Technocrat

Posted by Hyscience at March 13, 2005 9:51 AM

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