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December 14th, 2011 WW Staff | NikeLeaks Cables: Asia
 

AVIAN FLU: U.S. BUSINESS CONCERN GROWS

     
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Reference ID: 05HOCHIMINHCITY1046
Created: 2005-10-04 07:47
Released: 2011-08-30 01:44
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Origin: Consulate Ho Chi Minh City

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 001046
 
SIPDIS
 
SENSITIVE
 
STATE FOR FOR CA/OCS/ACS/EAP; EAP/EX; EAP/BCLTV;
STATE FOR OES/STC (M.GOLDBERG); OES/IHA (D.SINGER AND
N.COMELLA); EB FOR CBA/MERMOUD
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID/RDM/A (MFRIEDMAN)
STATE PASS HHS/OGHA (WSTEIGER, EELVANDER, ABHAT)
USDA FOR FAS/PASS TO APHIS
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP FOR LEW STERN
USAID FOR ANE AND GH (DCAROLL, SCLEMENTS AND PCHAPLIN)
DEPT PASS TO AID
AMEMBASSY ROME PASS FODAG
 
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON AMED TBIO CASC PGOV SENV SOCI VM AFLU
SUBJECT: AVIAN FLU: U.S. BUSINESS CONCERN GROWS
 
1.   SUMMARY (U) ConGen has noted an increase in interest in
Avian Influenza (AI) pandemic preparedness among American
Citizens and the U.S. business community in Ho Chi Minh City
(HCMC).  In searching for answers, more and more individuals
are turning to the ConGen for guidance.  An informal
sampling of the foreign business community in HCMC shows a
great variety in the level of preparedness.  END SUMMARY.
 
2.   (U) There has been a noticeable increase in the number
of inquiries about AI from Americans working in HCMC.  In
general, the mood has shifted from vague concern to an
active search for answers to specific questions.  The
European Chamber of Commerce recently organized an
informational luncheon about AI, and the International
School of Ho Chi Minh City - where most school-age ConGen
dependents study - had a parent-teacher evening to discuss
AI concerns.  The HCMC American Chamber of Commerce has
discussed AI in committee as an animal health issue, and has
begun an ad hoc effort to collect information and compare
notes regarding AI pandemic preparedness among its members.
 
3.   (SBU) The primary focus of inquiries from the
expatriate community is on the stockpiling and use of the
antiviral drug Tamiflu.  Cargill, British Petroleum (BP),
the Franco-Vietnamese Hospital (a hospital used primarily by
the French expatriate community), and International SOS (a
medical services provider for many foreign companies), all
have stores of Tamiflu.  Cargill Vietnam has 5,000 doses of
the antiviral and also has an AI awareness education program
for its employees. (Note - Cargill's Vietnam business
centers on production and marketing of agricultural feeds.)
BP Vietnam began work six month ago on its preparedness
plan, which we believe includes some Tamiflu stockpiling.
The Franco-Vietnamese Hospital (FV) reported to EconOff that
it had enough Tamiflu for its 500-plus staff.  (Note:  FV
would not clarify to EconOff whether this means it has
enough Tamiflu for a prophylaxis regimen or post-exposure
treatment only. End note.)
 
4.   (SBU) American companies also have human resource
concerns related to AI.  For example, while Nike has only
200-plus direct-hire employees in Vietnam, it employs
116,000 Vietnamese through its contractors.  While Nike may
not be directly responsible for these individuals, the
company is looking for guidance on measures that could raise
the general level of AI preparedness.  Garment buyer MAST
Industries, a subsidiary of The Limited Clothing Company,
has also expressed to ConGen concerns similar to Nike's.
 
5. (U) Health experts from International SOS recommended in
a presentation to the international business community that
companies prepare a plan of action using World Health
Organization (WHO) tripwires, phases one through six.
International SOS further recommends that companies educate
employees about flu symptoms and ask that individuals who
have the flu stay away from the office for 10 days.  In
addition, according to this regimen, companies should stock
up on hygienic supplies such as cleansers, masks and gloves,
and should purchase enough Tamiflu for 20-30 percent of
their employees (the predicted infection rate).
 
6. (U) COMMENT:  Many companies that have just begun
preparing for a broader possible AI outbreak have contacted
the Consulate for guidance and information.  ConGen has
advised those who ask to consult the websites of the
Department, the Centers for Disease Control and WHO.   These
inquiries are likely to increase in frequency.  END COMMENT
 
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