HANOI, March 29 (Xinhuanet) -- A five-person family from Vietnam's northern Hai Phong city have been infected with bird flu virus strain H5N1, local newspaper Labor reported Tuesday.
According to initial testing by the Vietnam's National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology, specimens from the five patients, including a 39-year-old man named Vu Van Son, his wife and three children from Kien Thuy rural district, have been tested positive to the virus. They were admitted to the city-based Viet-Tiep Hospital on March 22 after having cough, fever and breathing difficulty.
The parents and their daughters aged 4 months old, 3 years old and 10 years old are now in stable health condition. Before exhibiting bird flu symptoms, they ate sick chicken raised by themselves.
The family, who live in a bird flu-hit area, have their flock of nearly 200 chickens recently culled by local veterinarians. Earlier, over 200 chickens of the flock died.
Several days after admitting the five patients, the hospital received two suspected cases of bird flu infections: a 41-year-oldman and a child. All the seven patients live in the same commune.
On March 23, the Hue Central Hospital in central Hue city received a suspected case of H5N1 infection. The 30-year-old patient named Cao Lu Uy comes from the neighboring province of Quang Tri. The patient has not had contact with sick poultry, said the report.
Last week, Vietnam's Health Ministry confirmed that 28 local people have been infected with H5N1 since late December 2004, of whom 14 have died.
Bird flu has hit 35 Vietnamese cities and provinces since January. Twenty-seven localities have detected no new affected spots for three weeks, meeting criteria to announce an end to the disease. The eight remaining localities include Ben Tre, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Tra Vinh and Vinh Long in the southern region, and Hai Phong and Hai Duong in the northern region. Enditem