Bird flu scare sends thousands of ducklings to their death in Vietnam

By Hai Binh   August 2, 2018 | 01:43 am PT
Bird flu scare sends thousands of ducklings to their death in Vietnam
More than 2,400 ducklings infected with the H5N6 virus strain have been destroyed in Nghe An Province. Photo by Reuters
More than 2,400 ducklings infected by the H5N6 virus have been killed in the central province of Nghe An.

Animal health officials in Dien Chau District said Wednesday that the 12-day-old ducklings and eight chickens at a livestock farm owned by Cao Xuan Hao have been killed after they were found infected with the H5N6 virus, also known as bird flu.

On July 28, nearly 90 ducklings at Hao’s farm died suddenly and district animal health officials collected tissue samples from the birds. Test results found the birds had contracted the H5N6 virus.

It could be that the infected birds had not been fully vaccinated, the officials said.

They have asked all livestock farm owners to raise the alert and limit the sales and slaughter of any dead or sick poultry.

Last month, the northern province of Hai Phong, around 400 kilometers to northwest of Nghe An, also reported two bird flu outbreaks and more than 10,000 infected birds were killed, VTV reported.

The locality has been asked to stay vigilant against fresh bird flu infections for at least 20 days. A place is only considered free of bird flu after no new infections are reported over a period of 21 days.

Health officials are urging members of the public to avoid consuming poultry of unknown origins and immediately seek help if they find sick or dead birds.

Last year, slightly less than 2 percent of birds tested in Vietnam were found to be carrying the H5N1 virus, and nearly 1 percent had the H5N6 strain, according to the Ministry of Health.

The H5N1 strain has killed 65 people in Vietnam since it recurred in 2003, one of the highest fatality rates in the world. No human deaths were reported last year, but outbreaks led to thousands of poultry being culled.

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