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Bird Flu Kills 16-Year-Old in Vietnam, New Case Cited

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A 16-year-old Vietnamese girl battling bird flu over the past few weeks has died, the country’s third casualty in the past 10 days from the disease that last year devastated South East Asia’s poultry industry.

With Asia’s death toll from the H5N1 strain now at 35, Vietnamese officials said another patient has also contracted the virus. Le Truong Giang, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City’s health department, told Reuters on Monday the girl from the southern province of Tay Ninh died on Saturday in the city’s hospital after fighting the virus since late last month. He said tests last week confirmed that an 18-year-old girl who was transferred on Jan. 6 to the same hospital from the Mekong delta has also contracted the H5N1 strain. The death of the 16-year-old girl is the 23rd for the country since bird flu was first reported in December 2003 in the Mekong delta, which has wiped out some 17 percent of Vietnam’s poultry industry. Bird flu killed 12 people in Thailand last year but no new cases have been reported there since November. Malaysia, which has had no human cases, declared itself free of the virus last week. The World Health Organization warned Vietnam may face new bird flu cases this month as poultry is moved around the country ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The virus also becomes more active when temperatures cool, the WHO said. Since early last month, nearly 58,000 poultry have been slaughtered or have died from bird flu in Vietnam, mostly in the country’s south. (Source: Reuters Health, January, 2005)

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Posted On: 11 January, 2005
Modified On: 16 January, 2014

Created by: myVMC