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WHO and FAO investigate outbreaks in Vietnam

Officials at the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are talking with the Vietnamese government to send experts to investigate the source of the bird flu outbreaks.


Animal health authorities in Vietnam say they have already destroyed 24,000 birds in Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, and An Giang provinces in an effort to stop the H5N1 flu virus from spreading.

Although Vietnam has a record of acting quickly to control outbreaks, avian influenza broke out in three southern Vietnamese provinces in December.

"The recent outbreak is not surprising, because we know that the virus is still present," said Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a spokeswoman for the FAO's Hanoi office, stressing that more information is needed to determine how the virus has spread.

Some international organizations have looked to Vietnam as a model for other developing nations coping with bird flu. A year ago, officials vaccinated tens of millions of chickens across the country, and culled millions more to halt outbreaks.

Patrice Gautier, the head of Veterinarians Without Borders' Vietnam office, says the government is still doing a good job.

Related links:

World Health Organization

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization


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