Bird flu H5N1 strain of avian influenza was confirmed in a poultry worker in Vietnam, last week. The man has been hospitalized since last saturday and is recovering.
A Vietnamese man who works at a poultry slaughterhouse outside Hanoi has been infected with bird flu, Vietnam’s second human case in less than a month. The man was taken to hospital with fever on May 26 and tests conducted in Vietnam confirmed he had the H5N1 virus, doctor Nguyen Duc Hien who heads the hospital treating the man told the Thanh Nien newspaper.
Last month Vietnam reported its first human case of H5N1 virus infection in a year and a half, a 30-year-old man in a province neighbouring Hanoi who became sick after helping slaughter chickens at a friend’s wedding.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was working with the Vietnamese government to verify that suspected case.
Since 2004, some 270 humans have been infected with bird flu in 10 countries, with about 167 fatalities, mostly in Asia, according to the World Health Organization.
With the flu spreading around the world, the virus has turned up in birds in Asia, Europe and Africa. So far, bird flu has mostly been passed from birds either to other birds or, in isolated cases, to humans. In June 2006, WHO reported the first case of human transference of the disease, when an Indonesian man died after catching the flu from his 10-year-old son. If the flu mutates into a strain that can pass more readily from human to human, people will have no immunity and the flu will probably pass rapidly from person to person, creating a pandemic. Flu vaccines can only be made to protect against a particular virus, and, since the virus had yet to be passed from human to human, no vaccine has been developed.