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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Vietnam confirmed two dead from bird flu...others suspected.


Vietnam confirmed that two had died from bird flu
as others suspected of contracting the virus.

"Vietnam officially confirms two children died from bird flu"

Sat Jan 8, 8:18 AM ET

HANOI (AFP) - Vietnam officially confirmed that two young
boys had died from bird flu as state media said two other people
are suspected of contracting the virus.

"We assert that there have been three people infected with
the H5N1 virus since December 16, of whom, two had died," the
daily Lao Dong newspaper quoted Deputy Head of the ministry's
legal department, Tran Duc Long as saying on Saturday.

On Thursday, the government said that only a 16-year-old girl
from southern Tay Ninh province, who is in critical condition in
Ho Chi Minh City, had been infected with the H5N1 strain of the
bird flu virus. The two boys, aged six and nine, were also from
the south and died on December 30 and January 4.

Their deaths brought the total toll from bird flu in Vietnam since
late 2003 to 22.

Another state-run newspaper, Tuoi Tre, said a further two
suspected bird flu patients, an 18-year-old girl and a 65-year-old
man, were being treated.

Both are from Tien Giang in the south and are being treated in
Ho Chi Minh City's Hospital for Tropical Diseases, it said.

The country is implementing drastic measures to prevent bird
flu spreading, especially in the Mekong river delta provinces.

Neighbouring China Saturday said it was taking emergency
measures to prevent bird flu spreading into its Yunnan province,
which shares a 1,200 kilometre (750 mile) border with Vietnam.

Yunnan has established a 30-kilometre-wide "immune protection
zone" along the border and set up disinfecting stations for all
vehicles and personnel crossing the frontier, the Chinese Xinhua
news agency said.

At least 29,000 birds have been culled in Vietnam since
December to try to contain the disease, according to local officials.

Next month's upcoming Lunar New Year festivities are proving a
headache for officials with the demand for poultry consumption
expected to boom, said the Agriculture Ministry's Animal Health
Department Director Bui Quang Anh.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has ordered a ban on the
transportation of sick poultry from affected areas to keep
outbreaks in check and asked concerned authorities to step
up their vigilance, particularly in regions along the border
with China.

The government said in October that it had brought bird flu
under control. It had made a similar announcement on March 30
but later admitted that the declaration had been premature after
three people, including two children, died in August after being
infected with the H5N1 virus.

International experts said avian influenza has entrenched itself
in much of Asia and is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

More than 120 million birds were killed or culled in two huge
outbreaks throughout Asia last year of the H5N1 avian flu which
has so far claimed at least 34 lives.

Source: Copyright © 2005 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

Ask a question

Thursday March 25, 2004 [-] Dear Yahoo!:

"What is bird flu and how is it transmitted?"

Feeling Fowl [-] Eagle Lake, Illinois

Dear Feeling Fowl:

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a Type A influenza virus

that affects mostly birds and occasionally pigs.

The virus can pass from bird to bird when it is inhaled

and from contact with infected droppings.

Contaminated equipment, infectious particles carried

on the feet and bodies of animals, and migratory

waterfowl can spread the disease. Since December 2003,

a highly pathogenic strain has devastated dozens of

Asian domestic poultry stocks, and several human

infections have been reported.

According to the CDC, which offers a basic fact sheet on the
virus, bird flu is especially pernicious to humans because we
lack the necessary immune protections against the disease.

All influenza viruses are dangerous because they are prone to
change; the Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968 killed 34,000
people in the United States. The World Health Organization's
excellent Bird Flu FAQ notes that no human-to-human
transmissions have been reported.

There's much warranted concern about the latest

outbreak -- it has spread rapidly and is highly pathogenic.


"Rights Group Accuses Vietnam of Torture"

Mon Jan 10, 4:10 PM ET

HANOI, Vietnam - Human Rights Watch on Monday accused

Vietnam of mass arrests and torture of ethnic minorities in the

central part of the country and urged Cambodia to open its

border and allow asylum-seeking tribal members to cross.

In a report released Monday, the New York-based organization

said police had rounded up and detained dozens of Montagnards

— as the hilltribe people are collectively known...".