The H5N6 avian flu strain has been found for the first time in Vietnam in two poultry farms in northern and central Vietnam, the health ministry said Thursday.
The virus was detected in a chicken farm in Lang Son Province, which borders China, and a duck farm in Ha Tinh province, according to the Animal Health Department.
It was found to be 99 percent similar to the H5N6 avian flu strain that infected a man in China's Sichuan Province, who died after being diagnosed with acute pneumonia early May this year
According to health experts, although the H5N6 avian flu strain is highly pathogenic, the risk of human-to-human remains low.
However, its development must be closely monitored to prevent a possible avian flu outbreak in poultry, they said.
The health ministry has urged local administrations to intensify inspection of poultry import and transportation and tighten checks to curb poultry smuggling.
H5N6 has been found in migratory birds in Taiwan, Germany, Sweden and the US. Last month, a poultry sample in Laos also tested positive for H5N6, but no more infection case has been reported so far.
Vietnam has seen several bird flu strains, including H5N1 and H1N1, infecting humans in recent years.