Vietnam reports first bird flu death in nine months (Update)

Vietnam has recorded its first death from bird flu in nine months, according to the country's Health Ministry, as regional concerns over a potential resurgence of the deadly virus grow.

A 52-year-old man from southern Binh Phuoc province died Saturday after receiving treatment in Ho Chi Minh City, the ministry said in a statement issued late Monday.

"His sample... tested positive to the H5N1 virus," the statement said.

It was Vietnam's first fatality from the virus since a four-year-old child died in April 2013.

Demand for poultry in Vietnam is expected to surge over coming days as families gear up to celebrate the lunar new year festival Tet next week.

Strains of the H5, H7 and H9 avian influenza subtypes have caused human infections, primarily following direct contact with infected poultry.

But experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic.

The H5N1 virus has caused 649 confirmed flu cases in humans since it re-emerged in 2003, of whom 385 died, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Vietnam has recorded one of the highest fatality rates from bird flu in Southeast Asia, with the disease claiming 63 lives so far, WHO said.

Neighbouring Cambodia recorded 13 deaths from the virus last year, as it battled its deadliest outbreak since 2003.

Singapore on Tuesday issued a travel advisory urging citizens to "maintain vigilance" in areas hit by the H7N9 strain of bird flu, a day after China reported new fatalities from the virus.

Cold weather, an increase in poultry production and the mass movement of people ahead of Chinese New Year could increase the circulation of the virus in the coming months, Singapore's health ministry said.

It urged people to avoid close contact with those exhibiting flu-like symptoms and to seek medical attention promptly if feeling unwell.

Local authorities in China's commercial hub Shanghai on Monday said two people, including a medical doctor, have died from the virus this year.

Last year China had 144 cases of H7N9 avian influenza including 46 deaths, according to figures from China's National Health and Family Planning Commission.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Six-year-old Cambodian girl dies from bird flu

Jul 02, 2013

A six-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, bringing the country's toll from the deadly virus to nine so far this year, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday.

Vietnam reports first bird flu death in 14 months

Apr 09, 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.

Bird flu claims fifth Cambodian victim this year

Feb 08, 2013

A five-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, bringing the country's toll from the deadly virus to five so far this year, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

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

Families wait in agony for word on Ebola patients

1 hour ago

First the ring tone echoed outside the barbed-wire-topped walls of the Ebola clinic. Then came the wails of grief, as news spread that 31-year-old Rose Johnson was dead just days after she was brought here ...

China to open first high security bio laboratory

1 hour ago

China's first high-security biosafety laboratory will be ready for use by December, in a move hailed as a "crucial" moment in the fight against pathogens such as the Ebola virus, officials said Tuesday.

US Ebola labs, parts for clinic arrive in Liberia

2 hours ago

U.S. mobile Ebola labs should be up and running in Liberia this week, and American troops have broken ground for a field hospital, as the international community races to increase the ability to care for ...

Ebola-hit Liberia staring into the abyss

7 hours ago

With its collapsed health service, sick and poorly equipped security forces and broken economy, Ebola-hit Liberia finds itself on the brink of complete societal breakdown, experts warn.

Dallas hospital monitoring patient for Ebola

7 hours ago

A patient in a Dallas hospital is showing signs of the Ebola virus and is being kept in strict isolation with test results pending, hospital officials said Monday.

User comments