The Cho Ray Hospital announced Tuesday that one of its patients has died of influenza virus A/H1N1, making it the third swine flu death in a month in Ho Chi Minh City.
The death occurred two days after the patient, a 46-year-old man from Binh Tan District to the west of the city, was taken home at the request of his relatives. He became too sick and the chance of being cured was low, doctors said. Vietnamese people have a strong belief that they should die at home so their souls will not wander.
The patient, who’d tested positive for the A/H1N1 influenza virus, had a history of obesity, which has been identified as one of the factors that puts people under higher risk of infection or complications from the disease.
Le Quoc Hung, head of Tropical Diseases Department at Cho Ray, said they were treating seven other patients for swine flu.
These patients are believed to have caught the infection from the latest swine flu outbreak recorded on June 11 at the city’s largest general hospital.
Last week, the hospital, which is the largest public facility in southern Vietnam, had reported the second swine flu death in Saigon. The male patient had been diagnosed with acute renal failure and a weakening immune system that was aggravated by the flu.
On May 30, a 26-year-old woman in Saigon who had tested positive for influenza virus A/H1N1 died after she attempted self-treatment at home for five days, making her the first swine flu casualty reported in the country for about two years.
On June 1, 16 people in the city’s Tu Du Hospital, the biggest obstetrics facility in the south, tested positive for the virus after an infected woman was admitted for gynecological procedure.
The hospital subsequently quarantined more than 80 patients and staff members that it deemed at risk and isolated the Laparoscopy Department for three days for disinfection.
Pregnant women and infants and young children under two are among the groups identified by the World Health Organization as being at increased risk for complications arising from swine flu.
The H1N1 virus broke out worldwide in 2009 and was responsible for more than 17,000 deaths.
Some strains of the virus are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all seasonal flu while others are endemic in pigs and birds, better known as swine flu and avian flu.
Vietnam has recorded more than 11,000 human infections so far, including first deaths in April 2013.
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