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Vietnamese, HK Institutes to Research Bird Flu
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Vietnam's National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology will coordinate with China's Hong Kong Pasteur Institute to bird flu detection research, local newspaper Young People reported Wednesday.


Early next month, the two institutes will start the research which is aimed at developing methods to rapidly detect bird flu virus strain H5N1 in a large number of people, the Vietnamese institute's director Nguyen Tran Hien said, noting that the methods involve the use of new bird flu diagnosis kits in normal labs.


Now, rapid bird flu diagnosis can be conducted with a limited number of bird flu suspects in specialized labs equipped with costly and complicated medical appliances.


Hien said slight changes have been reported in H5N1 in the world as well as in Vietnam, but the transmission ability of the virus has decreased.


Vaccinating fowls against bird flu viruses, including H5N1, has proved effective, which helps control bird flu among humans, he said.


Vietnam has detected 93 bird flu patients, including 42 fatalities, in 32 localities since the disease started to hit the country in December 2003, the country's Health Ministry said on November 28, noting that it has seen no new human cases of infections since mid-November 2005.


(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2006)

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