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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 03:31 GMT
Bird flu claims Vietnamese victim
Ducks for sale at a market in Hanoi
Vietnam is at the forefront in the fight against bird flu
A 35-year-old man has died of bird flu in Vietnam becoming the country's 42nd victim of the disease, officials say.

The man from Hanoi died in hospital last month, after testing positive for the H5N1 strain of the virus.

He became ill after eating chicken with his relatives, who are "fine", a health official told Reuters news agency.

It is Vietnam's first bird flu death for three months. The virus has killed more than 60 people in South East Asia since its resurgence in late 2003.

The man developed a slight fever after eating a prepared chicken bought from a poultry market near his home, Nguyen Van Binh of the Preventive Medicine Department said.

He was taken to hospital on 26 October, but died three days later, the state-run Tien Phong newspaper said.

"Samples taken from the victim were found to be positive for the virus in tests carried out at the National Institute of Epidemiology in Hanoi," health ministry official Tran Duc Long told French news agency AFP.

Mr Binh said other members who ate the chicken had shown no symptoms of the virus.

Pandemic fears

Vietnam's human bird flu death toll accounts for more than two-thirds of the total number of people killed by the disease since late 2003.

Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia have also suffered fatalities.

Most of those who have died from the virus have worked closely with poultry, but there are fears the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily between people.

The deadly H5N1 virus has killed millions of birds across Asia.

Millions more have been culled in an effort to stem the virus, which has already spread from South East Asia to birds in Turkey, Romania and Croatia.

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