A doctor checks on a patient with the swine flu H1N1 (Illustrative photo: VNA)

Tra Vinh (VNA) – The Health Department in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on August 9 announced that it has recorded a death caused by the swine flu A/H1N1.

The deceased, Nguyen Thanh Hong, 60, was hospitalised at the local Tieu Can general hospital on July 31 over breathing problems. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a common lung disease, high blood pressure, and Cushing's syndrome – a collection of signs and symptoms due to prolonged exposure to cortisol.

He was transferred to the Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and died five days later. Tests from the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute showed that he was positive for A/H1N1.

Cao My Phuong, Director of the Tra Vinh Health Department, said the agency is intensifying measures to prevent the disease from speading. She unveiled that Hong’s house and its surrounding areas have been sterilized while medical staff involved in his case have been put under health surveillance.  

Swine flu A/H1N1 is one of the three most common seasonal influenza strains in Vietnam, with at least five deaths recorded since the beginning of this year.

The A/H1N1 virus causes a pernicious respiratory infection. Its symptoms are similar to seasonal flu, those of a fever, cold, cough, and headache. The virus then spreads to the respiratory system, causing other complicated symptoms such as wheezing and phlegm.

Patients suffering from A/H1N1 flu and seasonal flu normally recover after a week. However, vulnerable groups include the elderly, children, pregnant women, diabetics, cancer patients, HIV-positive people, and those with pre-existing respiratory issues.

Vietnam previously experienced an A/H1N1 pandemic in 2009, with over 9,000 cases of people contracting the disease and nearly 20 deaths within four months, according to the Ministry of Health. -VNA