11/23/2005, 00.00
Vietnam
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New human bird flu case confirmed in Vietnam

A 15-year-old boy has tested positive for the virus that killed more than 60 people across Asia. In the boy's household, there were dead poultry, the area blocked off.

Haiphong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A 15-year-old boy in Vietnam's northern port city of Haiphong has tested positive for the H5 bird flu virus, a Health Ministry official says. "We have identified the type A flu virus H5," Ministry spokesman Tran Duc Long said.

"We are waiting for results of the tests in order to determine the precise strain of the virus." The boy was in a stable condition in hospital, officials of Haiphong's preventive health care department say.

"In the boy's household, there were dead poultry", department director Truong Minh Sang said. "A day after that, we blocked off the area and since then no other person has taken ill."

The H5N1 strain of the virus has ravaged poultry and killed more than 60 people across Asia, 42 of them in Vietnam. The communist nation has identified in total 92 human cases of the disease since late 2003, Vietnamese official figures endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) say.

Bird flu has so far hit 19 cities and provinces of Vietnam since the latest outbreaks among poultry began in early October. The Agriculture Ministry says some 150 million out of an estimated 220 million birds throughout the country had been vaccinated as of Monday.

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