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Vietnam Registers Another Bird Flu Death


Vietnamese health officials say bird flu has killed another person, bringing the death toll from the disease in Asia to 62.

Authorities Thursday said the victim from Hanoi had tested positive for the H5 component of the lethal H5N1 strain of the virus.

Bird flu has now killed at least 43 people in Vietnam since 2003, and at least 19 others in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. Vietnamese health officials have begun a massive effort to vaccinate millions of chickens and ducks to slow the spread of the virus.

The virus has also struck six Russian regions and Kazakhstan, although no human deaths have been recorded in those areas.

Health experts fear the virus could infect millions of people worldwide if it changes into a form that can be spread easily by human-to-human contact.

In France, President Jacques Chirac has called for a coordinated international response to the possible spread of bird flu. Mr. Chirac's spokesman said Wednesday France is ready to work with the World Health Organization and will offer French resources to Asia and Africa.

Mr. Chirac held talks in Paris Wednesday with W.H.O chief Lee Jong-wook, who says it is not a question of whether bird flu will mutate and spread to humans, but when.

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