A 69-year-old man has died of bird flu in Vietnam, the 14th fatality from the disease in the country this year.

The director of northern Vietnam's Thai Binh provincial hospital, Pham Van Diu, said today (Sunday) that the man was admitted on February 19th with classic bird flue symptoms and died last Wednesday. He tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old man, also from Thai Binh province, is being treated for bird flu in Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital.

With the latest death, a total of 46 people in Vietnam and Cambodia have died from bird flu over the past year.

Health experts fear the virus could mutate into a highly infectious form that can be passed among humans.