Third case of H5N1 reported in Vietnam

A 22-year-old man in Vietnam was recently hospitalized and is in critical condition after becoming infected with the H5N1 avian flu virus.

Nguyen Van Vin Chau, Ho Chi Minh City's director of tropical diseases, said that the man was hospitalized after developing a high fever and respiratory problems. Nguyen said he is from the southeastern part of Vietnam, Binh Duong province, according to CIDRAP News.

A report by the Asia News Network said that the man is receiving treatment after samples tested positive for H5N1. The man is known to have eaten both chicken and duck of unknown origins during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday Tet.

This year, Vietnam has reported three confirmed human H5N1 infections. Two of the confirmed cases resulted in death. All three of the instances were in adults. If the case is confirmed by the World Health Organization, it will be the country's 122nd case and 61st death from the illness. In 2011, no cases were reported.

Vietnamese agriculture officials are ramping up efforts to fight the illness in poultry. Diep Kanh Tan, the deputy minister of agriculture, recently announced that authorities are constructing a nationwide map to identify which strains of the illness are prevalent. The map is to be used to guide national vaccination efforts, CIDRAP News reports.

Currently, only one type of vaccine is used in poultry to fight the infection. Vietnam is in the process of importing 50 million doses of the medicine, but it only targets a strain of H5N1 that has been prevalent in the southern half of the country.