Poultry infected with bird flu in province near Saigon

By Phan Anh   January 8, 2019 | 09:07 am GMT+7
Poultry infected with bird flu in province near Saigon
Made-in-Vietnam H5N1 vaccine is expected to be licensed and commercially launched this year. Photo by Shutterstock/goodmoments

Thousands of poultry are infected with H5N1, otherwise known as bird flu, in a province near Saigon.

Last Thursday 3,600 ducks belonging to Nguyen Thi Anh Hong and Nguyen Thi Le Thuy in Long Son village in Long An Province’s Can Duoc District were found dead.

Tests showed they had died of influenza A subtype H5N1, media reports said.

A subsequent investigation revealed the outbreak had begun last month in a flock of 400 chickens belonging to Dien Van Kieu of the same village, an hour south of Saigon center.

Kieu knew his birds were infected but did not report to authorities, and instead tried to buy medicines and cure them on his own. It failed and the disease then spread fatally to Hong and Thuy’s ducks. Under Vietnam's animal health regulations, one can be fined up to VND2 million ($86) for failing to report their animals' infection to the authorities.

Long An officials then culled all remaining birds belonging to the three and disinfected the surrounding areas to prevent the disease from spreading to the remaining 43,000 poultry in the village. The provincial veterinary department sent 20,000 shots of H5N1 vaccine and 20 liters of disinfectant to the village.

The Can Duoc District People’s Committee has urged neighboring villages to ensure all their poultry are vaccinated properly. The birds will most likely be consumed during the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival, or Tet.

Last year Vietnam successfully produced its own vaccine for H5N1. It is expected to be licensed and commercially launched this year.

Bird flu has killed at least 65 people in Vietnam since it first occurred in 2003, one of the highest fatality rates in the world. No human deaths have been reported in the last two years, but occasional outbreaks lead to thousands of poultry being culled.

 
 
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