Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bird flu kills man in northern Vietnam, first human case this year

HANOI, Vietnam - Bird flu has killed a man in northern Vietnam, marking the country’s first human case this year, health officials said Wednesday.

The 32-year-old man from Tuyen Quang province, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Hanoi, died last week, two days after being admitted to the national tropical disease hospital in Hanoi, said To Doan Hong of the provincial Preventive Medicine Center.

Test results later came back positive for the H5N1 strain of the virus, he said. It was the country’s 48th death reported since the virus began raging across Asia in late 2003.

Nguyen Huy Nga, director of the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Medicine Department, confirmed the results.

Hong said the man developed bird flu symptoms after slaughtering and cooking six geese and two chickens that had died at his backyard farm Jan. 9. Tests on poultry also came back positive for the H5N1 virus.

“Specimens taken from his family members and neighbors have been tested negative for the bird flu virus,” Hong said.

“We have disinfected his house and areas in the neighborhood.”

Health officials have warned the increased movement of people and poultry combined with cool weather could help spread the virus prior to the Lunar New Year festivities that begin Feb. 7.

Tuyen Quang and the northern province Thai Nguyen, along with the central province Quang Binh and southern Tra Vinh remain on the government’s bird flu watch list.

Source for bird flu story: The Canadian Press

Posted by john T. on 01/23 at 06:26 AM
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