SOC TRANG (VNS) — A new outbreak of H5N1 (avian flu) has been detected in a livestock farm in Soc Trang's Ke Sach District, the health ministry's department of preventive medicine confirmed on Wednesday.
The farm is located in village 1, in the southern province's Dai Hai commune.
The provincial department of veterinary medicine has coordinated with relevant local bodies to cull 1,100 two-month-old infected chicks, and has implemented the necessary preventive measures as per regulations, reported Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
Head of the department of veterinary medicine Quach Van Tay said that the situation was becoming complicated with the emergence of a new avian flu strain known as 126.96.36.199C in the other two districts of Nga Nam and Cu Lao Dung.
"It is highly possible that the avian flu will spread in the province, especially in highly vulnerable areas such as Nga Nam, Thanh Tri, My Xuyen and My Tu," the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Tay as saying.
Alarmingly, the local veterinary force is facing a shortage of vaccines to supplement the vaccination scheduled for the second phase of 2014, Tay said, adding that three outbreaks of avian flu have been detected in the province since early last month.
According to the health ministry's department of preventive medicine, as many as 777 cases of influenza A (H5N1) virus were recorded in 16 countries between late 2003 and January 2015, including 428 deaths (equal to 55.1 per cent).
The preventive medicine department recommended that the local people should not eat dead livestock, should always keep their farms clean and hygienic and should wear protective outfits while coming in contact with livestock to limit the transmission of the virus from animals to people. — VNS