Emergencies preparedness, response

Avian influenza – situation in Myanmar

14 December 2007

The Ministry of Health in Myanmar has confirmed the country's first case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case is a 7-year-old female from Kyaing Tone Township, Shan State (East).

The case was detected through routine surveillance following an outbreak of H5N1 in poultry in the area in mid-November. She developed symptoms of fever and headache on 21 November 2007 and was hospitalized on 27 November. She has now recovered. Samples taken from the case tested positive for H5N1 at the National Health Laboratory in Yangon, and the National Institute of Health in Thailand. The diagnosis was further confirmed at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, Japan.

A team from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and the WHO Country Office are conducting investigations to confirm the source of her infection. Initial findings indicate poultry die off in the vicinity of the case's home in the week prior to the onset of illness. To date, all identified contacts of the case remain healthy and ongoing surveillance activities in the area have not detected any further cases.