Vietnam’s southern region has just embarked on a national programme on surveying flu patients and flu virus strains, including deadly bird flu virus H5N1, local newspaper Youth reported on February 17.
The Pasteur Institute in HCM City Wednesday started to participate in the six-month programme funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is carried out nationwide from January to June. The institute is to probe into all available flu viruses and flu patients from southern localities.
Dr Menno de Jong, with Oxford University’s Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCM City, said he and fellow researchers believe in the case of one young boy, which wasn’t linked to bird flu until months later, may mean that other cases with no respiratory symptoms have gone unnoticed.
Vietnam has so far experienced three outbreaks of bird flu in people, killing 32 local people.