Three countries report more H5N1 outbreaks

Feb 2, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in Vietnam reported a new H5N1 avian influenza outbreak today in a duck flock in the southern part of the country, as veterinary workers in India and Bangladesh took measures to stop the virus's spread following new outbreaks in both countries.

In southern Vietnam, the virus hit 460 ducks at a commune farm in Ca Mau province, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported today. Though the virus has struck birds in the province before, the outbreak was the first in Tran Van Thoi district, said Su Van Minh, head of the district's avian flu committee.

Officials have culled infected ducks and disinfected the surrounding area to stop the outbreak, Su told DPA

Lam Minh Tuan, the commune's chairman, told DPA that dozens of unvaccinated ducks started dying on Jan 19, but the farmer did not report the outbreak until Jan 29.

Meanwhile, officials in India recently said they would cull thousands of chickens and ducks after dead birds in two villages in West Bengal state tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to a Jan 31 report from Reuters. The villages are in Cooch Behar district, which borders Bangladesh.

Rajesh Sinha, a senior government official, told Reuters that 30 culling teams are slated to target 45,000 chickens and ducks in the region. West Bengal, Assam, and Sikkim states, all in eastern India, have battled recent H5N1 outbreaks. India has battled sporadic H5N1 outbreaks since 2006.

In other developments, livestock officials in Bangladesh recently reported another H5N1 outbreak in Chittagong division, in the southernmost part of the country, according to a Jan 29 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The outbreak, which began on Jan 26, struck 80 birds at a commercial farm. Authorities culled the remaining 1,165 birds to control the disease's spread. Bangladesh has reported several outbreaks since October 2008, when the virus reemerged after a 4-month lull.

See also:

Jan 29 OIE report

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