Vietnam southern province declares bird flu outbreak

TN News

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The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang announced Wednesday that bird flu has returned in its two communes.

A statement from provincial authorities asked Tan Phu Dong District to deploy all possible forces to combat and contain the H5N1 virus among fowl in Tan Phu and Tan Thoi Communes.

A source from Tien Giang's Animal Health Department said they have detected sick ducks from herds at four families between the end of October and early this week.

More than half of the 938 ducks were sick and 315 had died. The rest of the herds have been culled and disposed of, while the farms and adjacent areas have been sterilized.

The department has vaccinated more than 12,000 birds belonging to 54 breeding families in the two communes.

According to Health Ministry regulations, a province can declare the end of bird flu epidemic if no infections are detected 21 days after the outbreak was announced.

People can become infected with H5N1 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.

Vietnam has recorded one of the highest numbers of fatalities from bird flu in Southeast Asia according to the World Health Organization, with 62 human deaths since 2003, including two last year.

The latest human fatality was reported last April, the first in over a year.

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