Deadly H5N1 bird flu strain reported in northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   March 2, 2017 | 05:39 am PT
Deadly H5N1 bird flu strain reported in northern Vietnam
Health officers cull poultry at a wholesale market, as trade in live poultry suspended after a spot check at a local street market revealed the presence of H7N9 bird flu virus, in Hong Kong June 7, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Bobby Yip
The virus strain has killed 65 people in Vietnam since it recurred in 2003.

Authorities in Vietnam’s northern province of Nam Dinh are trying to contain its first recorded outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus after cases were reported in two of its districts.

Around 70 people in the affected areas are being closely monitored to avoid human infections.

More than 9,100 domesticated birds, mostly chickens and ducks, have been killed or culled in the districts of Vu Ban and Truc Ninh since the beginning of this year, VietnamPlus reported on Thursday, quoting the provincial health department.

Nam Dinh is around 90 kilometers (56 miles) southeast of Hanoi.

The department has asked all 229 communes and wards in the province to raise the alert and report any dead or sick poultry.

Some 3,000 chickens infected by the H5N1 virus were also destroyed in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu in the first two months of the year, the animal health department said in a recent report. Bac Lieu is around 300 kilometers southwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

In the central province of Quang Ngai, animal health officials have culled around 2,800 birds so far this year after the H5N6 virus was detected, the agriculture ministry-run department said in a statement. Quang Ngai is about three hours drive to the south of the popular tourist town of Hoi An.

The H5N1 strain has killed 65 people in Vietnam since it recurred in 2003, one of the highest fatality rates in the world.

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

Flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, chest pain or breathing difficulty should also be taken seriously.

Related news:

Bird flu returns to Vietnam; outbreaks kill thousands of poultry

Vietnam forms emergency response teams as bird flu ravages China

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