Bird flu has spread further in nine Vietnamese localities, with new infected flocks reported in Hai Phong and four more provinces, an agricultural official said.
Van Dang Ky, head of the Epidemic Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said a series of outbreaks have been discovered in Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen and Bac Giang Provinces in the north, and Kien Giang in the Mekong Delta.
The new outbreaks have led to the deaths and forced culling of more than 3,300 ducks and chickens, Ky said.
The virus was previously detected in flocks in five provinces, including Thanh Hoa and Hai Duong in the northern region, Quang Tri in central Vietnam, and Soc Trang in the Mekong Delta.
Quang Nam Province to the south of Quang Tri has also asked local authorities to try to curb further spreading of the virus in the province. No official bird flu outbreak has been confirmed.
Ky said there's a very high chance that the disease will continue to spread across the country.
He said local governments have been asked to be vigilant against further outbreaks, especially in the northern region where the H5N1 virus seems to have mutated and has resisted current vaccines.
Delegations from the ministry have arrived at Hai Phong and the provinces for support.
The H5N1 virus has killed two people in Vietnam this year, both in January, including an 18-year-old duck farmer in Kien Giang and a 26-year-old pregnant woman in Soc Trang.
Since 2003, bird flu outbreaks have killed and led to the forced culling of tens of millions of fowl in Vietnam, which is among the countries most affected by H5N1.
According to a World Bank report in October last year, 119 human cases of the disease were confirmed in Vietnam as of March 2011, of which 59 were fatal.
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