The World Health Organization (WHO) is speeding up work on a vaccine to protect humans from H5N1, the virus found in five human deaths and sick fowls in Vietnam, according to a report of WHO on Wednesday.
Laboratories in Hong Kong and Japan have worked with the virus obtained from two of the fatal cases in Vietnam. A prototype virus to protect humans from H5N1 could be made available to vaccine manufacturing companies within about four weeks.
A WHO and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO) team of two experts and six scientists from the US Center of Disease Control arrived in Vietnam to investigate and assess the situation of bird and human flu outbreak.
So far, there has been no evidence of the virus transmission among people.
Vietnam has reported 30 flu type A patients and suspects, of whom 15 have died. Five fatal cases were confirmed to be infected with H5N1.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2004)