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.

Explore further: Indonesia reports fourth bird flu death of the year

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

Gut environment could reduce severity of malaria

February 8, 2016

Microorganisms in the gut could play a role in reducing the severity of malaria, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Louisville.

Easier diagnosis for fungal infection of the lungs

January 18, 2016

A new clinical imaging method developed in collaboration with a University of Exeter academic may enable doctors to tackle one of the main killers of patients with weakened immune systems sooner and more effectively.

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.