Published Date: 2007-06-08 19:00:02
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (97): Viet Nam, EU vaccine policy
Archive Number: 20070608.1879
AVIAN INFLUENZA (97): VIET NAM, EUROPEAN UNION VACCINE POLICY
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
 Viet Nam
 Vaccination, EU countries
 Viet Nam
Date: Thu 7 Jun 2007
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Reuters alertnet [edited]
Northern Vietnam reports new bird flu case in ducks
Bird flu spread to a duck farm in northern Vietnam last week [28 May - 2
June 2007], bringing to 16 the provinces and a city infected with the H5N1
virus, the government said on Thursday [7 Jun 2007]. A total of 240 ducks
died in Viet Tri city, the capital of Phu Tho province during the first 4
days of June. Health workers slaughtered the remaining 130 fowl as tests
confirmed the H5N1 virus among the dead ducks, the Animal Health Department
said in a report.
Phu Tho has been added to the government's bird flu watch list of 15
provinces and Can Tho city in the southern Mekong delta, following the
latest outbreak. [See list in commentary further. - Mod.AS]
On Wednesday [6 Jun 2007] veterinarians found 80 dead ducks in a flock of
1000 waterfowl in the central province of Quang Nam, one of the provinces
which have reported outbreaks in birds since early May. Phu Tho lies to the
northwest of Vinh Phuc province where a 30 year old man was last month
confirmed by Vietnamese doctors as infected with bird flu, the first human
case since November 2005. He was taken to a hospital in Hanoi for intensive
treatment. Another man who works for a poultry slaughterhouse outside Hanoi
was also confirmed to have the H5N1 virus last weekend.
"The health of the 2 patients has stabilised, they can breathe by
themselves without a mask," Nguyen Duc Hien, head of the hospital treating
the men, was quoted by state media as telling a government meeting on
Wednesday [6 Jun 2007]. Hien said that doctors suspected 3 more people
taken to his facility on Tuesday had bird flu but that test results would
only be available by Saturday. Laboratory researchers said that in the past
several weeks, they have tested about 10 samples a week for the virus.
The virus has killed 42 people out of 95 cases of infection in Vietnam
since it emerged in late 2003. The World Health Organization has not
confirmed the most recent 2 infections. Bird flu has been hitting more
ducks in Vietnam since it re-surfaced early this year. The fowl can carry
the virus without showing they are sick, making it harder to detect the
problem. They spread the virus in their droppings while roaming from one
rice field to another.
Globally the H5N1 virus has killed 189 people out of the 310 people it
infected, WHO said.
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall
[Adding Phu Tho to the list of the Vietnamese cities and provinces affected
by bird flu since the beginning of May 2007 brings the total number to 17
(out of a national total of 61). The current list includes Quang Ninh, Son
La, Nam Dinh, Hai Phong, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Bac Ninh, Ha Nam, Thai
Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Vinh Phuc, and Phu Tho in the northern region; Nghe An,
Quang Ngai, and Quang Nam in the central region; and Can Tho and Dong Thap
in the south. See an administrative map of Viet Nam at
<http://www.angelfire.com/co/hongnam/vnmap.html>, where Phu Tho is number 43.
Viet Nam is applying an extensive vaccination scheme, combined with other
zoo-sanitary measures, to control the avian influenza epizootic. -Mod. AS].
 Vaccination, EU countries
Date: Thu 7 Jun 2007
Source: Food Quality News [edited]
EU safety agency gives nod to bird flu vaccination
Vaccination programmes of poultry with approved drugs and procedures could
be used to prevent outbreaks of avian influenza, the European Union's
(EU's) food safety assessment agency said yesterday [Wed 6 Jun 2007].
Mass vaccination is seen as one way of calming consumers' fears about the
safety of the bloc's poultry flock. Consumption of poultry and poultry
products plunged by as much as 70 per cent in some countries at the start
of last year  due to outbreaks in member states.
However scientists and regulators differ about mass vaccination, as some
fear that its use in domestic poultry may hinder detection of the deadly
H5N1 strain of the disease. The scientific opinion by the European Food
Safety Agency (EFSA) could help resolve the differences of opinion among
the bloc's member states about whether to allow poultry processors to
vaccinate their flocks.
"The use of EU authorised vaccines per se is recommended because [it] is
safe and has no negative effect on poultry products for consumers," EFSA
The EU authorised vaccines for poultry such as chickens and ducks meet the
relevant quality standards. However more study is needed before an opinion
could be made about the use of vaccination for other poultry, EFSA stated.
According to the EFSA, monitoring strategies, combined with the use of
sentinel birds in order to detect possible transmission after vaccination,
must be employed to allow the detection of a possibly circulating field strain.
Last year the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC)
warned that vaccination programmes that are widely but imperfectly
instituted in poultry, like those in China and Indonesia, may impede
detection of human cases. Mass vaccination can also serve to disguise the
presence of any H5N1 that manages to survive in innoculated flocks, and
thus pose a great danger, others have argued.
So far, the European Commisson and member countries have resisted calls for
mass vaccination of the domestic poultry stock. Limited vaccinations have
been done in areas where bird flu outbreaks have occurred. While no human
case of the H5N1 virus has occurred in the EU, scientists worldwide have
been worried that H5N1, which can pass from poultry to humans, may mutate
so that it can be transmitted from human to human and start a influenza
At least 3 countries -- China, Indonesia and Viet Nam -- are undertaking
large-scale poultry vaccination programmes against H5N1, alongside with the
mass culling of millions of birds. "If poultry immunisation is efficient
and well monitored it could reduce the population burden of H5N1 in poultry
and hence the risk for humans," the CDPC stated. "Equally however if it
leads to the silent circulation of H5N1 in poultry it could actually
increase the threat to humans in those countries and the risk of
co-infection with other influenzas. Falling numbers of reported human cases
in countries practicing large scale poultry immunisation may therefore be
Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses in domestic
poultry have been increasing since the late 1990s and have affected poultry
in Europe as elsewhere. The continuing fight against the spread of avian
influenza throughout Europe has focused on preventing the spread of the
disease to domestic flocks from wild birds.
Previous outbreaks have occurred in domestic poultry in France, Sweden,
Germany and Denmark. Cases of avian influenza H5N1 have occurred in wild
birds in 13 member states of the EU to date: Greece, Italy, Slovenia,
Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech
Republic and, more recently, the UK.
In March last year  the European Commission approved limited
vaccination of bird flocks in certain areas of the Netherlands and France.
Vaccination ended 1 Apr 2006. Sentinel birds, which are unvaccinated
control birds, were used as part of the monitoring for avian influenza. The
Commission and member states also backed allowing Germany to go ahead with
field research into a vaccination programme. The German authorities are
carrying out a 2 year trial on 3 commercial farms in North Rhine
Westphalia. The vaccination will be carried out for research purposes only,
as part of a major field study to determine the effects and results of
vaccinating against avian influenza, the Commission stated. None of the
poultry used in the research, nor their meat and eggs, will be put on the
[byline: Ahmed ElAmin]