A five-year-old boy from the northern province of Quang Binh is suspected of contracting the avian flu, reported newswire VietnamNet Wednesday.
Hoang Trong Duong was admitted to the Hue Central Hospital on Tuesday, March 15 with a high fever and breathing problems, VietnamNet said.
X-rays showed pneumonia in both lungs, while clinical diagnostics and tests indicated signs of acute inflammation of the respiratory system.
Duong’s family was reported to have eaten a dead chicken three weeks ago. His 13-year-old sister had died 10 days after eating the dead chicken.
The above cases form another familial cluster with a bimodal distribution. The clinical presentation is consistent with bird flu. These clinical presentations appear to be far more accurate than the PCR tests in Vietnam, which appear to give false negatives for approximately 80% of H5N1 positive patients. The high false negative rate appears to be true of atypical patients, as well as those with classical bird flu symptoms, such as the case described above.
Therefore, both of the victims are assumed to be H5N1 positive, with transmission from the index case to the family member. Earlier clusters showed a gender difference between index cases and secondary cases within families. The secondary cases were predominantly female. Two of the three male secondary cases described previously were young boys ages 5 or 6 whose older sister had died. This cluster extends the sister to younger brother type of transmission to three.
Failure of WHO to issue warnings of such human-to-human familial transmission after 12 bimodal clusters goes beyond scandalous.