Dr. Tran Ngoc Huu, President of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, on March 7 confirmed that yet another case of bird flu had been reported in Vietnam, bringing the total tally to four patients with two having succumbed to the disease, since the beginning of this year.
On March 5, doctors from the General Hospital in Dak Lak Province transferred a 32-year-old local resident man to the Tropical Disease Hospital in HCMC, who they believed was suffering from the H5N1 bird flu virus.
The Tropical Disease Hospital in the city later reported that the patient was suffering from serious pneumonia and needed to be put under a respirator, while tests conducted on him by the Pasteur Institute proved positive for the bird flu virus.
It is still a mystery as to how the man caught the infection in the first place.
In related news, on the same day, the Department of Health in HCMC convened a meeting with leaders of district sub-divisions about implementation of disease prevention measures.
In the past week, nearly 140 children contracted the hand-foot-mouth disease, bringing the total number of infected cases in the city to over 900 since the beginning of this year, an increase by 3.6 times compared to the same period last year.
Dengue fever has also affected 123 people in the past week, taking the toll to more than 1,700 cases since the beginning of the year.
Authorities in the central province of Quang Nam on March 7 decided to set up a Steering Committee for the prevention of hand-foot-mouth disease, as the disease seems to have spread much more widely in the province.
At present, the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Hospital in the central province of Quang Binh is treating four toddlers infected with hand-foot-mouth disease.