Emergency Measures

Nguyen Huu Viet must have thought the worst was over when he buried his two-year-old son on Dec. 25. The boy had drowned two days before in a fishpond near their home in northern Vietnam's Thai Binh province, and Viet was undone by the death. At the funeral the family served raw duck blood and porridge—rural comfort food. Although they had heard that the avian influenza that swept Southeast Asia last year had returned, they thought the disease was confined to the south. The day after the funeral, Viet fell sick with flulike symptoms. He was hospitalized on Dec. 31, and...

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