01/11/2005, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Avian flu strikes fourth victim

Rome (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Health authorities suspect that an 18-year-old woman is Vietnam's fourth bird flu victim in two weeks.

The young woman from the southern province of Hau Giang died yesterday in the neighbouring town of Can Tho.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, deputy director of Can Tho's Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital, said the she was hospitalised two days earlier with a high fever and serious lung infection.

"Judging from her clinical symptoms and epidemical factors, we suspected she contracted bird flu," Nhan said.

The patient told hospital staff that a week before getting sick she had slaughtered a chicken "which her family asked her to bury and not eat".

Vietnamese authorities have recently released information about the latest bird flu-related deaths: a 6-year-old boy died on December 30, another 9-year-old boy on January 4 and a 16-year-old girl on January 8.

All three came from the south where the flu is reappearing among animals.

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