Bird Flu Shadow Lurks Over Quang Nam

VIETNAM – Many bird flu outbreaks were reported in central Quang Nam Province on Wednesday although the epidemic has now narrowed down to only five provinces nationwide as other affected provinces have not reported outbreaks in the past three weeks.
calendar icon 28 March 2008
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The National Animal Health Department on Wednesday reported that new outbreaks occurred at local farms in Dai Loc and Nui Thanh communes in Quang Nam Province, killing nearly 100 fowls.

At least 750 ducks in Nui Thanh Commune are positive with H5N1 virus, 63 of killed by the virus. Most ducks there have not been given vaccination, and local animal health workers culled the remaining ducks and disinfected the environment.

The National Animal Health on Wednesday said that bird flu is now still active in five provinces, namely Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Ca Mau and Soc Trang.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong on Tuesday assigned the National AnimaI Health Department to revise up the amount of financial support for farmers whose poultry flocks were culled due to the virus.

Bong said at the meeting in Hanoi that many local farmers were complaining about the low supporting rate as they only received VND15,000 for each poultry culled.

"The supporting rate will increase by 70% to around VND20,000-22,000 for each fowl being culled on a par with market prices," Bong said.

In a move of preparedness against bird flu on humans, the Ministry of Health has recently allowed for testing bird flu vaccine on humans.

The Vietnam News Agency reported that two people are healthy 18 days after getting the inoculation. At least 10 people who are workers at the Central Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute joined the vaccine testing.

If the initial test is successful, the test will be applied to 300 people, which is expected to start in April this year.

Since early this year, bird flu has attacked 20 provinces nationwide, claiming at least 10,000 ducks and 8,000 chickens.

While bird flu is yet to be contained, the foot and mouth disease is returning to the central region with Nghe An and Ha Tinh being infected.

The National Animal Health reported an outbreak in Ha Tinh Province with two buffalos infected on Tuesday, The disease also killed these buffalos at a local farm in Tan Loc Commune, Loc Ha District.

Up to date, the province has two districts and eight communes being infected.

Last year, foot and mouth disease killed thousands of animals.

An official from the department warned that the epidemic will likely spread because local farmers have poor awareness about the epidemic and still keep the habit having their cattle roaming on the field.

The foot-and-mouth disease has also spread to Ha Tinh's neighboring province of Nghe An as an outbreak was reported in Quynh Luu District, with a buffalo killed by the disease.

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