The avian flu outbreak in Vietnam is getting worse, with new reports of human infections coming out almost every day. The latest cases, confirmed Sunday, exhibit milder symptoms and do not seem to have had contact with poultry:
Vietnam has confirmed two more patients infected with the bird flu virus and five other suspected cases, said the National Institute for Clinical Research of Tropical Medicine in Hanoi June 19.
The conditions of the infected patients are not critical, said doctors at the institute, but how they caught the virus remains unclear as some patients claimed they had not come into contact with dead fowl.
Since last week, 23 suspected cases of bird flu nationwide have been reported.
PromedMail reports an outbreak in Southern Vietnam killed 6,000 birds and led to 700 more being culled. The report also contains warnings from Vietnamese officials of possible human to human transmission:
On Friday [17 Jun 2005], a senior health official said a number of suspected human-to-human cases of H5N1 had been detected by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
"We have got a number of suspected cases of human-to-human transmission of bird flu, including a doctor from Bach Mai hospital", Nguyen Tran Hien, the director of the institute, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "We will need to do more research before coming to any conclusion".