A student has died just days after developing a cough that was being caused by a bird flu. It was a highly pathogenic strain of the virus already detected in the UK and the US.

The 21-year-old from Vietnam is confirmed to have been infected with avian flu strain H5N1.

While it's most widespread targets are birds, the illness can be transferred to mammals and humans.

Comment: There have been hysterical claims that everything from people to seals to otters to foxes have been infected with bird flu, and yet, other than birds, deaths resulting directly from it appear to be rare; and most of the birds that died were culled: (2023) First human death from H3N8 bird flu recorded in China, WHO claims

People who had been in close contact with the student are being "monitored daily" in case they fall ill.

Vietnam has also recorded its first human case of the less deadly H9 avian flu in a 37-year-old male. Despite being less severe than H5N1, the man fell ill on March 6 and was hospitalised a week later with pneumonia.

Last month, Brits were urged to avoid close contact with wild birds and maintain a social distance of at least two metres due to fears of a new pandemic.

Comment: A 'social distance' of 2 metres from the village swans...

The UK Health Security Agency issued guidelines in March advising the public to minimise contact with birds to prevent catching diseases.

The guidelines recommend keeping as much distance from wild birds as possible, aiming for at least two metres if feasible, reports the Mirror.