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Man Contracts Deadly Bird Flu Virus in Vietnam

A Vietnamese man has contracted the deadly bird flu virus, becoming the country's second human case since late 2005 , a health official said Saturday.

The 19-year-old man tested positive for the H5N1 strain of the virus early this week after being admitted to the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Hanoi, a doctor there told AFP.

The doctor, who asked not to be named, said the victim had been admitted on May 19 and was now in a stable condition.

The daily Lao Dong said the patient had been working for a poultry slaughterhouse in the capital before he was taken to the Institute with a high fever and severe respiratory problems.

The director of Hanoi's Bach Mai hospital told the paper two other suspected bird flu victims had been admitted on Thursday and Friday, one of whom died late Friday.

Their samples are being tested in Hanoi, she said.

Last week Vietnam reported that a 30-year-old farmer had been infected with the deadly bird flu virus, the country's first human case since November 2005.

The victim was admitted to Bach Mai hospital in a critical condition but is now improving.

Bird flu has hit 14 of Vietnam's 64 provinces. The government has called for urgent measures to deal with the situation and to raise awareness of the dangers of bird flu.

Between 2003 and November 2005, Vietnam was one of the countries worst hit by bird flu with 42 deaths. The country, however, won international applause for its transparency and effectiveness in curbing the epidemic.

H5N1 has killed almost 200 people and ravaged poultry flocks worldwide since 2003. World Health Organization experts say a bird flu pandemic among humans would kill millions of people across the globe.


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