HANOI, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases is treating two people from northern Hung Yen and Thai Nguyen provinces, who have developed bird flu symptoms, according to local newspaper Pioneer on Wednesday.
Specimens from a 23-year-old person from Hung Yen and a 48-year-old person from Thai Nguyen, who currently need respiratory assistance because their lungs have been severely damaged, are being tested for bird flu virus strain H5N1, the newspaper quoted Nguyen Hong Ha, vice director of the institute in Hanoi, as saying.
Initial investigation has shown that the two patients had contacted with fowls before exhibiting bird flu symptoms.
To date, Vietnam has confirmed a total of 105 human cases of bird flu infections, including 51 fatalities, in 35 cities and provinces since bird flu started to hit the country in December 2003.
Vietnam currently has eight localities having poultry being hit by bird flu: Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Nam Dinh, Tuyen Quang and Ninh Binh in the northern region, and Long An and Vinh Long in the southern region, the country's Department of Animal Health said Feb. 26.