Vietnam reports first bird flu death in 14 months

April 9, 2013

A four-year-old child has become Vietnam's first victim of the H5N1 bird flu virus in more than a year, a health worker said on Tuesday, amid growing regional concerns about the virulent disease.

The death comes as neighbouring China scrambles to contain a new H7N9 strain that had not previously been transmitted from birds to humans but has now killed seven people since February.

"A test result confirmed the four-year-old boy was infected with H5N1," a staff member at the healthcare centre in Vietnam's southern province of Dong Thap, which handled the case, told AFP.

It was not immediately clear exactly when the child died and health officials in Hanoi were unavailable for comment.

It was Vietnam's first fatality from the since late January 2012.

The boy, who was from a farming family, became unwell at the start of last week, the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

After watching his grandmother kill a chicken, he developed a high fever and was admitted to hospital where he died, it said.

Hanoi last week banned all Chinese poultry imports and has stepped up border controls, including passenger temperature checks, in response to the new H7N9 strain in China.

According to the (WHO), Vietnam has recorded one of the highest numbers of fatalities from bird flu in Southeast Asia, with 62 human deaths since 2003, including two last year.

Neighbouring Cambodia is battling a recent unexplained spike in deaths from H5N1, which has killed eight people so far this year in the kingdom, including six children.

The H5N1 virus has killed more than 370 people around the world, according to the WHO, and scientists fear it could mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans.

Related Stories

Cambodian girl dies from bird flu: WHO

April 2, 2012

A six-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organization said Monday, in the country's second fatality from the virus this year.

Cambodian girl, 10, dies from bird flu: WHO

May 28, 2012

A 10-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organization said Monday, the country's third fatality from the virulent disease this year.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.