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Vietnam put on high alert to bird flu outbreaks

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-06 15:35

HANOI - Vietnam is facing a high risk of bird flu outbreaks due to unfavorable weather conditions which reduce the animals' resistance according to the Animal Health Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Wednesday.

The disease has recurred in five provinces of northern Dien Bien, central Khanh Hoa, and southern Kien Giang, Hau Giang and Tay Ninh, where more than 14,000 chickens and ducks were affected and culled.

Specifically, the disease re-occurred in Tay Ninh border province, and at a site only about 30 km from Cambodia, where reports were made public about the bird flu affecting human beings.

The disease could still reappear in those areas, as the virus could continue to exist in poultry flocks, said the report.

MARD minister Cao Duc Phat on Tuesday instructed related ministries and agencies nationwide to strictly control the prevention and fight against the disease.

Updated information on new strains of the bird flu virus should be widely provided so localities can use the right vaccines, along with implementing drastic measures to stop the spread of the disease. Areas sharing borders with Cambodia are advised to prevent any transport of poultry into the country.

The H5N1 bird flu virus has claimed 61 lives in Vietnam since 2003, with most of deaths reported in 2003 and 2004, according to the World Health Organization's latest report.

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