Vietnamese Suspected to be Infected

HANOI, VIETNAM - Vietnam's Preventive Medicine and Environment Department has said some people hospitalized recently are suspected of having contracted bird flu, local newspaper Youth reported on Friday.
calendar icon 22 February 2008
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Specimens from the people, including a seven-year-old child from northern Hai Duong province, are being tested for bird flu virus strain H5N1. The child is under treatment at the National Hospital of Pediatrics in capital Hanoi.

To date, Vietnam has confirmed a total of 104 human cases of bird flu infections, including 50 fatalities, since the disease started to hit the country in December 2003.

In mid-February, two local people, a 27-year-old man from northern Ninh Binh province and a 41-year-old man from northern Hai Duong province, died from bird flu. On Jan. 18, a 32-year-old ethnic man from northern Tuyen Quang province died from the disease.

Last December, after detecting no human cases of bird flu infections for nearly four months, the Health Ministry confirmed that a four-year-old boy from northern Son La province died on Dec.16, 2007 from bird flu.

All the recently-detected bird flu patients have had close contacts with fowls before exhibiting bird flu symptoms.

Vietnam currently has six localities having poultry being hit by bird flu: Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Nam Dinh and Tuyen Quang in the northern region, and northern Long An province, the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Feb. 21.

Bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam, starting in December 2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of fowls in the country.

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