Vietnam confirms new case of human H5N1 infection
( RIA Novosti ) - Health authorities in Vietnam confirmed Friday that a resident of a province in the north of the country had contracted the lethal H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, the country's first case since 2005.
A 30-year-old man from Vinh Phuc province, with population of about 1.1 million, who was hospitalized earlier this week in a serious condition, is the first victim of the virus in 17 months, said Nguyen Van Binh, a Health Ministry official.
Earlier reports said poultry, mainly unvaccinated ducks that died before reaching three months, had also been found to be infected with the H5N1 strain in the southern province of Can Tho, as well as Son La, Quang Ninh and Nam Dinh in the north, and in the central province of Nghe an.
Around 2,000 birds have died in the six provinces over the past week. Authorities in Vietnam say about 117 million birds have so far been vaccinated, but fears of the disease spreading around the country still remains.
With the recently confirmed H5N1 death of a five-year-old Indonesian girl, the human death toll out of 307 cases around the world has risen to 186, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The second hardest-hit country after Indonesia is Vietnam, where 94 human bird flu cases have been registered and the death toll hit 42. Vietnam suffered damage worth $200 million, as over 40 million domestic birds, or some 15% of the total, died of the virus or were culled.
Japan, the European Union, and the World Bank pledged in April to allocate $35 million for Vietnam to fight bird flu and prevent a new pandemic in the country.