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Vietnamese government confirms bird flu outbreak

The Vietnamese government has announced that thousands of poultry have died of bird flu in the last two weeks in southern Vietnam. This is the country's first reported outbreak in a year.

The deputy director of the Department of Animal Health, Hoang Van Nam, said that tests have revealed that approximately 5,500 one-month-old ducks and 500 chickens have died of the H5N1 bird flu strain in the southern Mekong Delta provinces Ca Mau and Bac Lieu.
There was no immediate comment from the World Health Organisation.
In recent months, Vietnamese authorities had asked farmers and local authorities to remain vigilant as winter conditions are considered favourable for the development of the virus. The government has also tried to prevent the movement of bird flu through a mass-vaccination campaign (126 million birds have been vaccinated), however, Nam warned this time the virus could spread.
"The risk of the bird flu virus spreading further is very high because some farmers dumped dead ducklings into canals," Nam said.
A report by the Hanoi-based national animal health department said the birds had been illegally hatched and were not vaccinated.
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Editor WorldPoultry

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