Bird Flu Strikes Vietnam: Health Ministry Confirms Student's Death From H5N1

The ministry has also asked the officials to increase surveillance to detect new cases.

A 21-year-old student in Vietnam tragically became the first person in the country to die from avian influenza, or bird flu. The Ministry of Health confirmed the student, enrolled at Nha Trang University, succumbed to the H5N1 subtype of the virus on March 23rd.

This death has prompted health officials to urge stricter controls to prevent bird flu transmission to humans. While the investigation found no signs of sick or dead poultry near the student’s residence, wild birds were reportedly trapped in the vicinity around the Lunar New Year holiday. Bird flu outbreaks have been documented in several Vietnamese provinces since January.

The Health Ministry expressed concern that changing weather patterns, brought on by shifting seasons, could create favourable conditions for the virus to spread. To address this risk, they have called for heightened surveillance to identify any potential new cases.

According to a statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease news blog, a male patient, 21 years old, resides in Tan Ninh village, Ninh Trung commune, Ninh Hoa town, Khanh Hoa province. On March 11, 2024, the patient developed symptoms of fever and cough and self-treated, but the symptoms did not improve. The patient came for examination and treatment at Ninh Hoa Medical Centre on March 16-17, 2024, and then was transferred to Khanh Hoa General Hospital for treatment with a diagnosis of pneumonia.”

“On March 19, 2024, the Khanh Hoa Centre for Disease Control took patient samples for testing. According to test results on March 20, 2024, the patient was positive for influenza A/H5, and confirmation results from Nha Trang Pasteur Institute on March 22, 2024, determined that the patient was positive for influenza A (H5N1). Due to the serious progression of the disease, the patient died on March 23, 2024,” as per the statement.

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