Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vietnam: The Centre Tests Protection from Exisiting Vaccine for Humans

[This article is from the Bangkok Post.  I bolded the sentence, because I had understood the previous articles to be speaking about vaccine for poultry, not humans.  This article states humans, and is not a translation.  This is an excerpt from VOV news, also in English.  It does not specify that the vaccine is for humans]:
As the new strain is different from the A/H5N1 virus, the ministry is to conduct experiments and tests to confirm if the vaccines that are being used to combat A/H5N1 are also effective against the new strain.
If the existing medication is ineffective, studies on new vaccines against the new strain should be conducted soon, Tan said, adding that he has asked the DoAH to isolate the virus for this purpose.The Central Veterinary Diagnosis Center is also monitoring and looking into the new strain to help find a specific medication against it.

Published: 8/09/2012 at 02:39 AM

A new highly-toxic strain of the potentially deadly bird flu virus has appeared in Vietnam and is spreading fast, according to state media reports.
The strain appeared to be a mutation of the H5N1 virus which swept through the country's poultry flocks last year, forcing mass culls of birds in affected areas, according to agriculture officials. The new virus "is quickly spreading and this is the big concern of the government", Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan said, according to a Thursday report in the VietnamNet online newspaper. Experts cited in the report said the new virus appeared in July and had spread through Vietnam's northern and central regions in August. Outbreaks have been detected in six provinces so far and some 180,000 birds have been culled, the Animal Health department said. The Central Veterinary Diagnosis Centre said the virus appeared similar to the standard strains of bird flu but was more toxic. The centre will test how much protection existing vaccines for humans offer, the report said. Some experts suggested that the new strain resulted from widespread smuggling of poultry from China into the northern parts of Vietnam. Two people have died this year from the virulent disease -- but long before the new strain was identified. According to the World Health Organisation, Vietnam has recorded one of the highest numbers of fatalities from bird flu in southeast Asia, with at least 59 deaths since 2003. The avian influenza virus has killed more than 330 people around the world, and scientists fear it could mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans, with the potential to cause millions of deaths.

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