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Bird flu spreads to another south Vietnam province

Bird flu spreads to another south Vietnam province

A third southern Vietnamese province has reported bird flu among poultry, forcing the cull of hundreds of ducks, an official said Thursday, warning that careless farmers could be encouraging the virus to spread.
Earlier this month, bird flu killed and forced the cull of more than 12,000 ducks in Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces in the country's first reported outbreak in a year.
Some 450 ducklings died suddenly, earlier this week, in two farms in Hau Giang province and test results showed they were infected with H5N1 strain of bird flu, said provincial animal health official Trinh Hung Cuong.
Nearly 900 ducks in the neighborhood have since been culled, and the surrounding areas have been disinfected, Cuong said.
Poultry farmers who allow their flocks to roam freely or defy a government ban on raising ducks may be exacerbating the problem, Cuong said. The government has banned hatching or restocking ducks, which carry the virus without showing symptoms.
"Poultry farmers tried to hide their ducks from authorities and that makes it much more difficult for us to control the virus," he said.
Although 42 people have died of H5N1 in Vietnam since late 2003, the Southeast Asian country has not reported any human infections since November 2005 and, until earlier this month, the last reported outbreak in birds was a month later.
At least 157 people out of 261 infected with H5N1 worldwide have died, according to the World Health Organization.
Most of those who died came into direct contact with infected birds, but experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that becomes easily passed among people, potentially sparking a pandemic.


Updated : 2021-08-02 08:21 GMT+08:00