HA NOI — The National Animal Health Diagnostic Centre is trying to identify a new strain of bird flu virus that is suspected to have a higher risk of causing human death than previously known strains.
According to the Animal Health Department, the new strain of bird flu virus appeared in July and strongly spread in August in central and northern provinces.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan said the new strain virus was suspected to have been spread via illegally imported poultry from China.
Viet Nam had failed to bring the activities under control, he said, adding that breeding poultry to supply the meat demand for the upcoming Lunar New Year had been blamed for illegally importing poultry, he said.
The new strain of bird flu virus was also thought to belong to H5N1 – Clade 188.8.131.52, together with two strains of A and B which appeared in Viet Nam in 2011, said Hoang Van Nam, head of the ministry's Animal Health Department.
According to Nam, the new strain of bird flu virus might spread quickly.
Deputy Minister Tan ordered the department to tightly control the illegal importation of poultry from China, especially illegally imported chicks because they had a higher risk of bird-flu than fully grown fouls.
Disinfection activities to prevent bird flu spread were set to begin this month nation-wide.
The new virus had attacked seven provinces of Bac Kan, Ha Tinh, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Quang Ngai and Thanh Hoa where 180,000 birds infected with the virus had been destroyed. — VNS