Northernmost Vietnam province reports 2nd swine-flu death of 2013

TN News

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Another resident of Ha Giang Province has died from the H1N1 strain of swine flu, while five more had tested positive for H1N1 as of Saturday, Vietnam News Agency reported Sunday.

According to the Ha Giang Health Department, Ban Thi Lanh, 15, a resident of Ngoc Duong Commune's Na Bau Hamlet, started showing symptoms such as severe coughing, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain, chest pain, fever and diarrhea on June 19.

She was taken to the Ha Giang Town's health center three days later to collect samples that were then sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, which said they tested positive for H1N1.

Her family brought Lanh to the Ha Giang General Hospital for further treatment but she died on June 27.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Du, director of Ha Giang Town's health center, said on Saturday that another 23 people in Na Bau Hamlet suspected of having or as having had H1N1 had also been quarantined for treatment and were being closely monitored. Five of them, who tested positive to H1N1, have been treated at the provincial general hospital.

According to Dr. Nguyen Van Nghia, head of the Ha Giang General Hospital's infection department, they were admitted to the hospital between July 3-5 with symptoms like high fevers, severe coughing, chest pain, lung damage and respiratory problems.

The Ha Giang health department has assigned relevant authorities to Na Bau Hamlet to spray disinfecting chemicals, study the problem and initiate steps to prevent the infection from spreading.

Earlier, Nguyen Van Lieu, 56, of Vi Xuyen District, died on May 21 after a week in the hospital, becoming Ha Giang's first H1N1 fatality of the year.

Other localities in Vietnam to have reported H1N1 deaths this year include Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Ho Chi Minh City, Thanh Hoa, Vinh Long and Yen Bai.

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Lanh is the 12th victim of the virus so far this year.

More than 11,200 people Vietnam have become infected with H1N1 since it broke out worldwide in 2009. The virus claimed 70 lives by the end of 2011 before easing last year.

People aged above 65, children under five, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems due to cancer or HIV/AIDS are among the most susceptible to the disease, doctors said.

Vietnam's Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals has been conducting trials on a vaccine for H1N1 since April 2012. Mass production of the vaccine has been scheduled to begin in late 2014 or early 2015.

Duong Huu Thai, the institute's deputy chief, said in May that its price will be a third of the cost of imported H1N1 vaccines.

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