Vietnam opens first airborne infection isolation room

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The Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi opened Vietnam's first negative pressure isolation room Friday to treat persons with a suspected or confirmed airborne infectious disease.

The US$300,000 facility, paid for by Oxford University, includes a ventilation system that generates negative pressure to allow air to flow into the isolation room but not escape from the room, as air will naturally flow from areas with higher pressure to areas with lower pressure, thereby preventing contaminated air from flowing to other parts of the hospital.

Such isolation rooms are expected to be built at the Central Children's Hospital in Hanoi, Children's Hospitals No.1, No.2, and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City.

The first patient treated at the new room was discharged on Friday.

Trung Van Hoa, 22, from the northern province of Bac Kan was admitted to the hospital 42 days ago. He was then found to be infected with the H5N1 avian flu virus.

The man's case was one of the most serious H5N1-infected cases recorded in Vietnam, the hospital said.

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