Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Avian influenza – situation in Lao People's Democratic Republic

27 February 2007

The Ministry of Health in Lao People's Democratic Republic has today reported the first human case of infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

The 15-year-old female was from Vientiane, where she developed influenza-like symptoms on 10 February and was hospitalized in Vietiane with fever and respiratory symptoms on 15 February. She sought medical care in neighbouring Thailand on 17 February and is currently in Nongkhai public hospital where she remains in stable condition. Samples taken by Lao epidemiologists and Thai clinicians were tested by the National Institute of Health in Thailand and were positive for H5N1 infection. The Lao Government is also providing samples to a WHO collaborating centre for examination.

On February 24 and 25, a team from the Thai and Lao ministries of health and WHO officials investigated the situation in the girl's village and those districts where poultry deaths had occurred earlier. Close contacts of the girl have been identified and are being monitored daily. The adults were provided prophylaxis with oseltamivir and to date, all of these people remain healthy.

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