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Death Toll of Flu Type A in Vietnam Rises to 13

The number of flu type A infections and suspects in Vietnam had rose to 18 and 13 of them died of the disease as of Wednesday.  

The most recent death is a male teacher, 31, born in the northern province of Thai Binh. His wife and two sisters were also hospitalized with symptoms of the disease on Tuesday, Nguyen Hong Ha, head of the treatment team of the Institute for the Control of Tropical Diseases, told Xinhua on Thursday.


The three new patients are in stable conditions although they have a temperature and cough, Ha said, adding that the hospital is testing to identify whether they are infected with flu type A or not.


The bird flu, which is caused by the virus H5N1, is spreading to many northern and southern provinces and infecting some 1.5 million poultry.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), three flu type A victims in Vietnam tested positive to H5N1. The spokesman of the Philippine-based WHO Western Pacific Region Office Peter Cordingley said the virus may be more dangerous than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


To prevent flu type A and bird flu from spreading, Vietnam's ministries of Health and Agriculture and Rural Development are strengthening activities such as destroying poultry in infected areas, detoxificating poultry farms, and banning the transport of sick chickens.


They have also advised local people to keep their accommodations and body hygienic, especially keep their noses and throats warm and free from viruses. 


(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2004)

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