SOCIETY

Vietnam ranks 3rd in Western Pacific regarding H5N1 human mortality

Tuoitrenews

Updated : 06/17/2014 16:22 GMT + 7

Vietnam now ranks third among the top three countries with the highest H5N1 human fatality rates in the Western Pacific Region, a senior health official announced on Monday.

>> Vietnam to bring H5N1 flu vaccine to market by year-end

Vietnam now ranks third among the top three countries with the highest H5N1 human fatality rates in the Western Pacific Region, a senior health official announced on Monday.

Tran Dac Phu, head of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health’s Preventive Health Department, made the announcement at an international conference jointly organized by the health ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the central city of Da Nang.

The conference, which was attended by local and foreign health managers and experts, focused on sharing experience in the prevention and control of avian influenza A (H5N1) in humans.

Since 2003, when the H5N1 virus first appeared, 665 human cases have been reported from 16 countries worldwide, of which 392 (59 percent) were fatal, Phu said, citing a World Health Organization (WHO) report.

In the Western Pacific Region, 232 H5N1 cases have been reported from four countries since 2003, of which 133 (57 percent) were dead.

Among the countries in the region with more than 10 reported cases, Cambodia had the highest case fatality rate of 66 percent (37 out of 56) between 2003 and 2014, followed by China (64 percent) and Vietnam (50 percent), according to WHO.

Vietnam is now in the area that has been affected the most by the H5N1 avian flu, WHO said.

“Vietnam has achieved good performance in curbing the spread of the epidemic, but new H5N1 flu cases have still been recorded in the first months of 2014,” Phu said.

The disease is now affecting 15 provinces and cities, and there have been signs of appearance of some new avian flu virus strains, he added.

Last month, a group of Vietnamese researchers said they have finalized a process to produce a new vaccine against the H5N1 virus and expect to launch their product on the market late this year.

The 100-percent made-in-Vietnam vaccine is the result of research that has been conducted over the past ten years by Vietnamese scientists at the Company for Vaccines and Biological Production No. 1 and the Central Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute.

The vaccine has been prepared by using samples of the H5N1 virus taken from the first people who contracted it in Vietnam, researchers said.

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