On Friday, the media had carried reports on the possibility of an avian influenza epidemic in Vietnam after the H5N1 strain of the virus was reported in more localities across the nation. The rise in the number of cases has also been confirmed by official reports, fuelling fears further.
The latest outbreak occurred on a farm in Mekong delta's Ca Mau province, where 300 unvaccinated ducklings died of the virus, said the national animal health department.
AdvertisementThe Hanoi-based office in its earlier reports said avian influenza had been found in ducks in nearby Soc Trang province and Nghe An province in the country's central.
The state-run Thanh Nien newspaper said Friday that southern Bac Lieu has been added to the list of bird-flu hit provinces.
"Epidemics could spread easily because of cold weather and local residents' habit of letting the ducks run around in rice fields," Thanh Nien said, adding thousands of infected poultry have died or been culled this year.
Earlier this month, Vietnam's capital Hanoi issued a ban on the widespread use of motorbikes or bicycles to transport poultry and livestock for fear it could help trigger an epidemic.
However, state media has frequently reported that meat products continued to be transported by motorbike into the city daily despite the ban.
The communist state, which has been hit by bird flu since 2003, reported a human case this year, an eight-year-old girl from northern Thanh Hoa province who has now recovered.
Her 13-year-old sister died in hospital earlier but was not tested for H5N1 before the burial, health officials said.
Vietnam has recorded 52 human deaths of bird flu, the second highest toll after Indonesia, where the virus has killed 115 people.
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