HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - Tests have found that
four members of a family in southern Vietnam who were
hospitalized with symptoms of bird flu were not infected with
the virus, a doctor said Tuesday.
A 36-year-old woman and her three children aged
three to 13 were admitted to Nam Can Hospital in Ca Mau province
last week with fevers, coughing, decreased white blood cells and
damaged lungs. The family had eaten a chicken that had fallen
sick and died on Dec. 23.
"They tested negative for the H5N1 strain of
bird flu," said Phan Van Tu, chief virologist at the Pasteur
Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. "They were suffering from
Vietnam has not had any known human cases of
bird flu for more than a year and is widely seen as a model for
how to fight bird flu using extensive vaccinations of poultry,
careful surveillance and slaughters of birds in infected areas.
However, in December, it reported its first bird
flu outbreaks in poultry in a year in Ca Mau and two other
provinces in the Mekong Delta.
The outbreaks killed or forced the slaughter of
more than 13,000 birds in the three provinces.
Vietnam has recorded at least 42 human deaths
from the H5N1 virus since late 2003, according to the World
Health Organization. The country’s last reported human case was
in November 2005.
At least 157 people out of 261 known to have
been infected with H5N1 worldwide have died, WHO says.