A 23-year-old woman in Vietnam has died of bird flu, medical officials said today, in the country which has the world's second-highest death toll from the virus. According to the director of the hospital where she was being treated in Quang Ninh province, the young woman died yesterday. Her death brings Vietnam's death toll from the bird flu virus to 53 since the end of 2003. The patient "died at 2.30pm Saturday" from the H5N1 strain of the virus, the hospital director said.
"She and her family had been in contact with chicken that had contracted bird flu," Nguyen Hong Hanh added. Since the beginning of the year, three people have been struck with bird flu in Vietnam, all in the north of the country. An eight-year-old girl recovered while a 32-year-old man remains in a Hanoi hospital. Vietnam is, after Indonesia, the country with the highest death toll from human bird flu.
According to the World Health Organisation, which does not yet have a record of the most recent Vietnamese death, H5N1 has killed 254 people across the world since 2003. *AFP