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Bird Flu Virus Found in Vietnamese Pigs

Posted February. 06, 2004 23:01,   


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated on February 6 that the bird flu virus also known as the H5N1 virus that has prevailed since last year has been found in pigs of Vietnam.

This means the bird flu has more of a possibility to mutate to an infectious virus among humans because a pig’s respiratory cells have a receptor of both bird flu and human influenza.

The head of the FAO Vietnamese office, Anton Rychener said, “We found evidence of the H5N1 virus’ existence after gathering and analyzing nose samples of pigs in nearby Hanoi. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that millions of people may die if such a variant came out. The head of the Infectious Disease Control department Lee Jong-gu of the National Institute of Health explained, “The fact that the H5N1 virus was found in pigs is evidence of a possible infectious variant among people.” Meanwhile, according to the announcement by the Scripps Research Institute of California in the U.S. and the Medical Research Council of the U.K. in the recent journal “The Science” released February 6, it confirmed the Spanish flu, which caused about a 20 million death toll worldwide in 1918, was a variant of the bird flu. In Vietnam, the number of those who have died of the bird flu has increased to 13 as two people died that day. The death toll of bird flu patients in Asia has reached 28 this day including suspected patients.