Bird flu detected in Vietnam capital

March 7th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by admin  

Hanoi, March 7 (DPA) Bird flu has killed more than 2,000 ducks and chickens in Vietnam’s capital city, raising the number of provinces with avian influenza outbreaks this year to 10, an official said Friday. More than 2,000 ducks and chickens were found dead at a farm in Hanoi’s outlying district of Soc Son between March 3 and 4, and tests Thursday showed they were positive for the H5N1 virus, according to the head of the city’s animal health department.

“Most of the poultry at the farm were ducklings and chickens under 10 days old, and had thus not been vaccinated yet,” Giang said.

Giang said authorities had culled the remaining 1,660 chickens and ducks at the farm, disinfected the area, and banned the transport of poultry from the neighbourhood.

“We are afraid the outbreak will expand to other farms in the district, in spite of the measures we have taken,” Giang said.

Bird flu outbreaks have been detected in 10 provinces since the beginning of this year, prompting local authorities to cull tens of thousands of ducks and chickens, according to the agriculture ministry’s Animal Health Department.

Bird flu has infected 105 people in Vietnam and killed 51 of them since it first appeared in the country in late 2003.

H5N1 mainly affects poultry and wild birds, but can infect humans who have close contact with sick fowl. Scientists fear that if it spreads unchecked, the disease could mutate into a form that could be transmitted between humans, leading to a worldwide pandemic that could kill millions.

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