Page last updated at 19:57 GMT, Saturday, 16 June 2007 20:57 UK

Man dies of bird flu in Vietnam

Poultry trader inspects a duck in Ha Tay (2005 file pic)
The victim's family raised fighting cocks and ducks

A man has died of bird flu in Vietnam, in the first confirmed human death from the virus there since 2005, health officials said.

The 20-year-old died in the northern Ha Tay province, state media reported.

Bird flu has killed 43 people in Vietnam and officials have warned of more human cases as the virus spreads rapidly in poultry in many provinces.

None of the country's five recent human bird flu cases has been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Two have recovered and two are receiving treatment, Vietnamese authorities say.

Pandemic fears

The 20-year-old - the fifth case - died of the H5N1 strain of the virus on 10 June, state-run Vietnam News Agency quoted Vice Health Minister Trinh Quan Huan as saying.

He became ill on 2 June and died two days after being admitted to the National Contagious and Tropical Diseases Hospital in the capital, Hanoi.

His family raised fighting cocks and ducks, state media said.

In May, Vietnam announced its first human case of the deadly H5N1 virus after containing a previous outbreak since November 2005.

The H5N1 strain has killed more than 190 people since 2003, according to WHO figures. Indonesia has been hardest hit, with 80 deaths.

Scientists fear the virus could mutate to a form which could be easily passed from human to human, triggering a pandemic.

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