(NaturalNews) The H5N1 bird flu virus surfaced in the Vietnamese province of Kien Giang earlier this week, after roughly 70 ducks infected with the virus died the previous weekend.
The local animal health department slaughtered 1,800 ducks in the districts of Go Quao and Vinh Thuan on Saturday and Sunday, and sterilized and quarantined the sites where the dead ducks were found.
The H5N1 virus re-emerged in early December last year in Central Vietnam, where it affected 41 communes in 17 districts in the provinces of Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Hau Giang and Kien Giang, according to the Thanh Nien Daily.
Following the discovery of the ducks in Kien Giang, the National Steering Committee on Bird Flu Control met to discuss the spread of the avian flu virus. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong called the spread of the virus north along the Mekong delta an imminent threat.
Reports from the Animal Health Bureau Region in Dong Thap and Bac Lieu provinces, on the Cuu Long River Delta, indicate that the H5N1 virus is spreading among waterfowl that have not been vaccinated against the disease.
Unvaccinated ducks carrying the virus were blamed in a recent report by the Center for Animal Health Diagnosis for spreading H5N1 in Ninh Binh, Ha Nam and Vihn Phuc provinces.
Officials say the disease is also being spread through the sale of uncertified poultry in markets, where hygiene practices are not enforced.
Tran Quoc Thang, deputy minister of science and technology, conducted a review of bird flu control protocols in Danang on Tuesday, and requested that local agencies sterilize markets where poultry is sold to help combat the virus. Thang warned that Danang should be closely watched for outbreaks of the disease, since it acts as a transfer station for high quantities of fowl.
According to Bong, all provinces in Vietnam must be prepared to fight the virus, as well as be equipped to deal with an emergency in the event of a widespread outbreak.
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