HA NOI — The People's Committee of northern Ha Nam province yesterday announced the first outbreak of bird flu in Nhat Tan Commune, Kim Bang District, while many other localities reported high risk of the disease.
More than 2,500 poultry, including young ducks and muscovy ducks, raised by two local households in Ha Nam, died on Tuesday.
Later test on four samples of the deceased poultry confirmed they were positive for the bird flu virus or H5N1, according to the provincial animal health department.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Department of Animal Health sterilised the affected areas, set up five quarantine stations in the commune and culled all poultry raised by the affected households.
However, according to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent, some local residents threw dead poultry into canals, and many of duck carcuses were decomposing in the open air.
The ministry's latest statistics showed that bird flu had been reported in four communes in Quang Tri, Thanh Hoa and Soc Trang provinces over the past month, affecting nearly 1,700 poultry and forcing the culling of more than 4,000 domestic fowl.
Since early this year, the virus has also claimed two human lives in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's Soc Trang and Kien Giang Provinces.
However, signs of bird flu have been reported in many other localities nation-wide.
Secretary of Hong Dan district Party Committee in southern Bac LieuProvince Vo Van Ut said the district faced a high risk of an outbreak as a number of poultry in the district had died with no clear cause since last month.
In nearby Tra Vinh Province, Tra Vinh City and four other districts faced a high risk of bird flu. Six from 12 samples of poultry on sale in markets in the first week of this month tested positive to the disease, yet the province has not yet declared the outbreak.
One measure the province has taken to prevent the disease's spread is to vaccinate all domestic fowl free-of-charge from now until the end of the year.
Some local authorities fear the disease will spread as the rice harvest draws near, when ducks are left to range freely among paddy fields.
This time of year, many local farmers raise poultry, estimated at more than six million nation-wide, to welcome the Chol Chnam Thmay festival – the Khmer people's traditional new year festival. — VNS