Vietnam confirmed a new human bird flu case Friday as the latest outbreak swept through 14 provinces within the last month.
A worker at a slaughterhouse in Hanoi had tested positive for the H5N1 virus strain, Nguyen Duc Hien, head of the National Institute for Tropical Diseases, said.
He was admitted to the institute May 26, just 12 days after starting to work at the abattoir. Hien said the man was recovering and his condition stable.
Director of Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital, Tran Thuy Hanh, said in the past two days two patients had been admitted with typical bird flu symptoms, one of whom had died Friday.
The hospital had taken samples from them for tests, she added.
Meanwhile, tests have confirmed that all 300 ducklings culled on a farm last Monday in the northern province of Hung Yen had the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
An agriculture ministry report said that on May 30 around 200 ducks on a farm in another northern province, Ninh Binh, had also tested positive and been culled. Ninh Binh reported its first bird flu outbreak among ducks Monday.
Neither flock had been vaccinated against H5N1, the ministry said.
Earlier, on Friday, the ministry said the virus had struck a second province, Quang Nam, in the central region this week, killing 370 ducks.
In early May bird flu broke out among ducks in Nghe An province 500 km north of Quang Nam, the first case on the central coast.
The outbreak in Hung Yen Monday
brought to 14 the number of areas infected in Vietnam in the past month. They lie from Son La in the country's far northwest to Can Tho city in the Mekong delta in the far south.
Agriculture minister Cao Duc Phat has warned that Vietnam is on the brink of another bird flu epidemic among poultry after the virus spread rapidly in May. Experts have called this outbreak unusual since the flu normally peaks in cool weather.
Last week Vietnam reported its first human case of H5N1 in a year and a half when a 30-year-old man in a province near Hanoi was infected. His condition was improving, doctors treating him said.
Bird flu has killed 42 people in Vietnam since it resurfaced in Asia in late-2003. Despite sweeping control measures, including mass vaccinations of poultry, the virus reemerged in 2005, last year, and once earlier this year.
Globally the virus has infected 309 people in 12 countries, killing 187 of them, according to the World Health Organization.
Indonesia said Friday that a 15-year-old girl died in central Java after contracting the disease. She had handled a dead chicken for cooking, an official said.