HANOI, March 17 (Xinhuanet) -- A person from Vietnam's northern Bac Ninh province has just been hospitalized for being suspected of contracting bird flu virus strain H5N1, according to local newspaper Pioneer on Thursday.
The patient, admitted to the Institute of Tropical Diseases here on Wednesday, is in relatively good health condition.
On Tuesday, a five-year-old child named Hoang Trong Duong from central Quang Binh province was admitted to a hospital in the neighboring city of Hue after exhibiting bird flu symptoms. Specimens from the child is being tested for the virus.
In late February, the child's family in a bird flu-hit area slaughtered a sick chicken for meal. Ten days after the meal, the child's 13-year-old sister died with an unidentified cause, the paper said.
The institute on Wednesday released two bird flu patients: Nguyen Thi Ngoan and Nguyen Duc Tinh from northern Thai Binh province. It is now treating only one bird flu patient: Nguyen Sy Tuan, Ngoan's elder brother.
Final testing of the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology showed that specimens from a 46-year-old female nursefrom Thai Binh, who was admitted to the Institute of Tropical Diseases on March 10 with bird flu symptoms, were tested negative to H5N1.
Seeing the fact that many Thai Binh's residents have been infected with the virus, Vietnam's Health Ministry asked relevant agencies to strengthen disease surveillance and collect more samples from both humans and fowls in the province for virus testing. The World Health Organization has just promised to offer Vietnam a mobile lab for rapid H5N1 testing.
The National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology has recently collected some 1,000 specimens not only from poultry in bird flu-hit areas, but also other animals such as rabbits and insects. Its test aims to explore the possibility of H5N1 jumping to other species.
The ministry has recently confirmed 24 human cases of bird flu infections including 13 fatalities since mid-December 2004. Enditem