Vietnam's Health Ministry said a seven-year-old child from northern Hai Duong Province has been infected with H5N1, raising the total number of bird flu patients in Vietnam since 2003 to 105, according to local newspaper Young People on Saturday.
The child is under treatment at the Central Pediatrics Hospital in Hanoi capital. Some suspected human cases of bird flu infections are also under treatment at the city-based Tropical Diseases Hospital. Their specimens are being tested for H5N1 by Vietnam's National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
To date, Vietnam has reported a total of 105 human cases of bird flu infections, including 50 fatalities, since the disease started to hit the country in December 2003.
Since Feb. 13, two local people, a 27-year-old man named Hoang Van Doan from northern Ninh Binh Province and a 40-year-old man named Do Van San from northern Hai Duong Province, have died from bird flu, the newspaper said.
On Jan. 18, a 32-year-old ethnic man named Tran Van Dong from northern Tuyen Quang Province died from the disease.
Last December, after detecting no human cases of bird flu infections for nearly four months, the ministry confirmed that a four-year-old boy from northern Son La Province died on Dec. 16, 2007 from bird flu.
All the recently-detected bird flu patients have had close contacts with fowls, like slaughtering dead chickens for meal, before exhibiting bird flu symptoms. During the Lunar New Year Festival in early February, a large number of poultry were transported and slaughtered for meal across Vietnam.
The World Health Organization on Feb. 15 confirmed 103 cases of bird flu infections, including 49 fatalities in Vietnam. It has yet to confirm the two latest cases, including one fatality.
Vietnam currently has four localities having poultry being hit by bird flu: northern Thai Nguyen, central Quang Binh Province, northern Quang Ninh Province and southern Long An Province, the Department of Animal Health under the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Friday.
Bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam, starting in December 2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of fowls in the country.
(Xinhua News Agency February 16, 2008)