Bird flu H5N1 virus causes new death

A 4-year-old boy has been reported to have died of the bird flu strain H5N1 in the southern province of Dong Thap, a local department of health confirmed Tuesday morning.

The victim, from Cao Lanh District's Tan Hoi Trung Commune, was infected with the deadly H5N1 virus but the source of infection has not been revealed, according to the HCM City-based Pasteur hospital.

Local authorities have analyzed blood samples of the boy's relatives in a bid to detect any additional infections and carried out preventive measures to halt any outbreaks within the community.

The victim is suspected to have contracted the virus from a chicken, which was bought by his grandmother at the beginning of the month.

The boy, allegedly unwell at the time, was said to have been watching his grandmother whilst she slaughtered the fowl. Among the 123 infected cases confirmed between December 2003 and February 2012, the H5N1 bird flu virus has claimed 61 lives in Vietnam, according to World Health Organization.

This is the first reported death of the virus in the province this year. Although, the northern province of Quang Ninh's Dong Trieu District reported a new outbreak of bird flu among chickens was detected on April 5th, it had been successfully contained.

The latest report from the Agriculture and Rural Development's Animal Health Department on Sunday indicated that the country had no new recorded bird flu outbreaks.