Child tests positive for bird flu

A three-year-old boy is the country’s fifth to contract avian influenza this year. 

The child, from the southern province of Binh Duong, was taken to Ho Chi Minh City’s Children Hospital II on March 10 with symptoms including a high fever and cough. Tests later confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus.

He was then quarantined in the hospital’s Infectious Ward and placed on a breathing machine.

Doctors said they first suspected the boy had contracted dengue fever, but X-rays showed he had developed pneumonia and breathing difficulties, not normally associated with dengue.

The boy’s relatives said the family lived in a neighborhood where vendors sell live poultry, yet they were not aware of any sick chickens in the area nor had the child consumed any poultry.

The HCMC Department of Health convened a meeting soon after the case was announced with experts and doctors from the city’s Pasteur institute, Tropical Disease Hospital, and other medical personnel to discus the case and redo blood tests on the child.

Dr. Hung of the Pasteur Institute said that an update would be announced on March 17 and that the institute’s staff would investigate the boy’s neighborhood.

By T. Lam - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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