Nov 4, 2008 (CIDRAP News) Government officials in Laos today confirmed that the H5N1 avian influenza virus struck birds in a village in the northwestern part of the country, according to media reports.
The outbreak occurred in Donngeun village in Xayaboury province, where the Avian Influenza Control Committee yesterday ordered that all birds within a 1-kilometer radius of the outbreak site be destroyed to stop the spread of the virus, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The Vientiane Times, a Lao newspaper, reported that the culling area encompasses seven villages, according to a report today by Xinhua, China's state news agency. Officials established a 5-kilometer yellow zone around the outbreak location and advised villagers to destroy birds at the first sign of illness without waiting for them to be tested. None of the media reports said what type of birds were involved in the outbreak.
The last H5N1 outbreak in Laos occurred in September, when the virus hit ducks in two northwestern provinces, Oudomxay and Luang Prabang, according to a Sep 14 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Authorities said they thought that the first outbreak was related to ducklings obtained from the site of a previous outbreak and that the second was related to illegal bird transport in another province. Animal health officials culled 5,225 birds to control the outbreaks.
Sep 14 OIE report