Vietnam province says bird flu epidemic is over

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Authorities in the south central province of Ninh Thuan have declared that the bird flu outbreak which took place among swiftlets raised for profitable nests at a local farm is over.

Tran Quoc Nam, a spokesman for the local government, told the press Monday no dead swiftlets have been found at Thanh Binh Farm in Phan Rang-Thap Cham Town since April 19, the day the province declared the outbreak.

Tests on alive swiftlets at the farm are also negative for the H5N1 virus, he said.

The province has taken sterilization measures and vaccinated around 100,000 fowls living near the farm, according to Nam.

In Vietnam, a province can declare the end of bird flu epidemic if no infected case is found after 21 days since it announced the outbreak.

Ninh Thuan was the first province in Vietnam to declare a bird flu outbreak this year after tests showed around 5,000 swiftlets at Thanh Binh Farm, which died since the end of March, were positive for H5N1.

As many as 10,000 swiftlets at the farm were culled afterwards.

The H5N1-caused bird flu has caused at least 62 deaths among 123 infected patients in Vietnam since 2003, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The first human fatality from H5N1 in Vietnam in more than a year a four-year-old boy was reported last month.


People can become infected from direct or close contact with fowl carrying the virus, which is deadly among domesticated ducks and chickens.

To combat human cases of bird flu, Vietnam has been vaccinating farmed fowl and treating infected people with the antiviral Tamiflu.

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