Swine flu causes another death in HCM City hinh anh 1A/H1N1 flu patients are being treated at Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A person with the influenza virus A/H1N1 recently died after two days of treatment at the Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, becoming the second fatality of swine flu at the hospital and the third in the city.

The male patient, 46, was hospitalised with severe respiratory failure and pneumonia. He was obese and in need of breathing machine aids.

Le Quoc Hung, head of the hospital’s department for tropical diseases, said it is currently treating seven A/H1N1 victims, three of whom are in severe condition and need breathing machines.

From June 11, the hospital has received at least 24 patients infected with the virus, two of whom have died, increasing the total number of A/H1N1-related fatalities in HCM City from the beginning of 2018 to three. Doctors said A/H1N1 deaths occur among people with obesity and other chronic diseases like diabetes and kidney failure.

Hung said this was the start of the rainy season and also the peak of the flu season so the appearance of the A/H1N1 flu was understandable.

The recent return of the influenza virus in HCM City has worried many people, but health experts insist that an epidemic is unlikely. They say if people get vaccinated, the chances of them falling ill are low.

Head of HCM City Pasteur Institute Phan Trong Lan said the number of A/H1N1 patients was higher than previous years because of lower vaccination rates. At present, the vaccination rate against influenza was less than one percent of Vietnam’s population.

He said patients suffering from A/H1N1 flu and seasonal flu would normally recover after a week. However, he warned that pregnant women, infants and young children under two years old and old people over 65 were among the groups at elevated risks of complications arising from flu.

Complications could be fatal without timely treatment, Lan said.

Doctor Truong Huu Khanh from HCM City Children’s Hospital 1 said A/H1N1 flu was infectious but fatalities only happen to those who had weak immune systems.

Tests showed that this is the old type of the H1N1 virus that broke out worldwide in 2009 and vaccinations against the virus are successful, according to Khanh. It could only cause an epidemic if a new type of virus appeared with a modified structure, he said.-VNA