Nepal, Vietnam, and India find more H5N1 in poultry

Feb 6, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in Nepal yesterday reported H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks at farms in the eastern part of the country, while Vietnam and India reported more detections in poultry.

Following massive poultry deaths on farms in Nepal's Sunsari district, samples sent to Kathmandu were positive in preliminary testing, and follow-up tests in the United Kingdom confirmed the virus, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported yesterday. More than 8,000 birds had died on different poultry farms in the area, and authorities had already begun culling, according to the report.

Nepal's last H5N1 outbreak was reported in December 2011, when the struck backyard chickens and ducks in a village in Bagmati, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Meanwhile, Vietnam reported H5N1 outbreaks in three provinces, according to an OIE report today. The most recent one struck birds in a village in Soc Trang province, located in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. The virus killed 90 birds, and 310 more were destroyed to control the spread of the virus. After nearly a 2-year lull, Vietnam recently reported two H5N1 deaths, including that of a woman from Soc Trang.

On Feb 3 Vietnam reported outbreaks at three other locations, two villages in Quang Tri province and a village in Thanh Hoa province. Both provinces are located on Vietnam's north central coast. The outbreaks killed 200 birds and sickened 1,593. Officials culled 3,432 more poultry in attempts to stamp out the virus.

Hoang Van Nam, Vietnam's director of animal health, said the country's recent long bout of cold weather is contributing to an uptick in H5N1 outbreaks, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported today. He said at least four provinces have reported H5N1 recurrences this year.

The government has warned that many birds were transported across the country without proper clearance during lunar new year celebrations, and it warned citizens against buying poultry from unknown sources and advised people to wash their hands carefully after handling birds, according to the DPA report.

Elsewhere, India reported another H5N1 outbreak in Odisha (Orissa) state, where the virus recently recurred. The virus struck a government poultry farm, killing 5,015 of 34,857 susceptible birds, according to a Feb 4 report from the OIE. All domestic poultry within a 3-kilometer radius of the farm are being culled to control the spread of the disease.

In late January, India's Tripura state, located in northeastern India on the border with Bangladesh, also reported that the virus hit birds at a poultry research farm. Odisha is on India's east coast by the Bay of Bengal.

See also:

Feb 5 Xinhua story

Feb 6 OIE report on Vietnam outbreak

Feb 4 OIE report on India outbreak

Feb 3 OIE report on Vietnam outbreaks

Feb 6 DPA story

Dec 2, 2011, OIE report on Nepal outbreak

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