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New bird flu fatality reported in Vietnam
Updated: 2005-08-09 09:59

A 35-year-old man from Vietnam's southern Ben Tre, has just been confirmed to die of bird flu, lifting the total fatal cases in the country to 41 since late 2003, local newspaper Young People reported Tuesday.

Tests by the Pasteur Institute in southern Ho Chi Minh City showed that the man from the Ba Tri district named Phan Van Lu was infected with the virus strain H5N1. He died at a provincial hospital on July 31, one day after being hospitalized.

The man slaughtered two dead chickens for meal on July 25. He was the first patient in Ben Tre to die of bird flu.

Last week, Vietnam's Health Ministry confirmed the country detected 3 human cases of bird flu infections, including 2 fatalities, in July, raising the total to 63 since late December 2004.

The ministry also announced that since the first bird flu patient was detected in Vietnam in late 2003, the country had detected 90 human cases of infections, including 40 fatalities, in 31 cities and provinces. It has yet to confirm the latest case in Ben Tre.

Vietnam is spending around 446.6 billion Vietnamese dong ( nearly 28.3 million US dollars) on vaccinating 160 million poultry against bird flu viruses in the 2005-2006 period. In the next two months, the country will start to vaccinate fowls in 48 cities and provinces with high risks of bird flu outbreaks, including those in the northern Red River Delta and the southern Mekong Delta.

Now, Vietnam is vaccinating poultry in northern Nam Dinh province and southern Tien Giang province on a trial basis. The pilot program is expected to conclude by the end of this month.

According to local veterinary agencies, up to 70 percent of waterfowls in the Mekong delta have been tested positive to H5N1. The country culled 4,620 poultry after they detected small outbreaks of bird flu in Hanoi capital city and the three southern localities of Can Tho, Ben Tre and Dong Thap last month.

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