12/30/2004, 00.00
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Teenage girl infected with bird flu in Vietnam

Meanwhile in China a panel has been set up to guard against Sars.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A teenage girl in southern Vietnam has been infected with the lethal strain of bird flu that has killed at least 20 people in the communist nation since late last year, a doctor said on Thursday.

The 16-year-old girl from the rural southern province of Tay Ninh was receiving treatment at the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, a doctor there said, requesting anonymity.

"She is suffering from respiratory failure and is in a critical condition. We suspect that she contracted the H5N1 virus after killing and preparing a chicken for cooking," he told.

He refused to give her name or say when she was admitted to the hospital in the southern business capital but said there were no signs that other members of her family had been infected.

Meanwhile warnings of an imminent Sars outbreak have prompted the authorities in Guangdong to set up a crisis management panel comprising medical experts and academics, state media reports say.

Panel supervisor Zhong Nanshan, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, said the disease was likely to re-emerge in Guangdong this winter or next spring, Xinhua reported yesterday. To strengthen preventive efforts, 123 experts and academics from 28 hospitals and medical research institutions were selected by Guangdong authorities to form the panel. Apart from monitoring diseases and filing reports on their spreading, the panel will help prepare crisis-relief materials and work on emergency programmes to deal with probable outbreaks.

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See also
A new flue outbreak, deadlier than SARS
In China no information about the dangers of the avian flu
Ho Chi Minh City to slaughter all poultry because of bird flu
Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia


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