Friday, December 29, 2006

Bird flu spreads in Vietnam's Mekong delta

A third Vietnamese province on Thursday recorded an outbreak of bird flu in poultry, a day after the Agriculture Ministry said the disease had been contained.

The Animal Health Department said tests confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus in a flock of 450 ducks in Hau Giang province, adjacent to Bac Lieu and Ca Mau where more than 9,000 ducks and chicken have been slaughtered since bird flu was identified there on Dec. 11.

The virus first arrived in Vietnam's Mekong Delta in late 2003 and has since killed 42 of the 93 people infected in Vietnam.

Vietnam, which has had no human bird flu cases since late 2005, has a human death toll second only to Indonesia's 57, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO says bird flu has killed 154 people out of 258 infected globally since late 2003.

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