Vietnam Confirms First H5N1 Bird Flu Death In A Year

HANOI, Vietnam (April 9, 2013)--Vietnam is confirming its first human death from bird flu in more than a year, but health officials say it's not related to a deadly outbreak of a new strain in China.

Officials say a 4-year-old boy died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu on April 4 after being hospitalized.

A different bird flu strain has killed seven people in China, where an association of pigeon enthusiasts plans to vaccinate as many as 90,000 of the birds in the eastern part of the country to help ward off the spread of the latest avian flu.

Pigeons became a source of concern after one in Shanghai was found infected with the new H7N9 strain of bird flu.

At least 24 people have been infected and seven of them have died in the outbreak.

The Hangzhou Carrier Pigeon Association says it will use a different flu vaccine in the vaccination drive since none exists for H7N9.

Beyond vaccines, the group announced the suspension of racing contests and told its members to prepare to keep their pigeons caged for one to two months.

Raising carrier pigeons, also called homing pigeons, is a common hobby in China.

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