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January 21, 2014

Vietnamese Man Dies of H5N1 Bird Flu

by VOA News

A 52-year-old man in Ho Chi Minh City has become the first person in Vietnam to die from bird flu in nine months.

Vietnamese health officials said Tuesday the man was hospitalized January 11 with a high fever and died a week later. He tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

Earlier, the man reportedly killed a duck and came into contact with chickens at a market where several birds later died of unknown causes.

It is Vietnam's first bird flu death since April, when a four-year-old child died.

The World Health Organization reports that 63 people have died of bird flu in Vietnam since 2003.

Worldwide, WHO said 385 people have died out of a total of 649 confirmed H5N1 cases in humans.

The virus usually only infects humans who come into direct contact with diseased birds.

Some scientists fear H5N1 could mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans, with the potential to cause many more deaths.