Vietnam detects deadly bird flu outbreak in central province

By VnExpress   March 20, 2017 | 05:29 pm GMT+7

The H5N6 strain of the virus has now been identified in northern and central Vietnam.

Authorities in the central province of Quang Tri have reported a new outbreak of H5N6 bird flu, and are preparing to cull hundreds of chickens.

This is the second outbreak of the strain recently reported in the country, following a case in the northern province of Cao Bang.

The H5N6 strain, which has been spreading in neighboring China, was confirmed at a livestock farm in Trieu Phong District on March 17 by the Animal Health Department, an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, VietnamPlus reported.

Test results found 130 infected chickens, and the flock of 200 is set to be destroyed. The birds had not been vaccinated, the department said.

The deadly H5N1 strain of the deadly virus has also been circulating in a number of Vietnamese provinces, including Nam Dinh, Quang Ngai, Dong Nai, Soc Trang and Bac Lieu.

The H5N1 strain has killed 65 people in Vietnam since it recurred in 2003, one of the highest fatality rates in the world. It has been been running rampant in China and Cambodia, while H6N5 is also spreading across the latter.

Vietnam is already battling H5N1 and H5N6 outbreaks in seven provinces across the country, and more than 30,000 birds have been destroyed so far this year. A place is only considered free of bird flu after no new infections are reported over a period of 21 days.

Representatives from the department warned that the risk of outbreaks and the virus spreading is high. The department is urging northern border provinces and other cities to remain vigilant against strains of bird flu that have yet to arrive in Vietnam, including H7N9, H5N2 and H5N8.

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