Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Seoul, Hanoi fight new bird flu cases


South Korea has started killing tens of thousands of poultry after a fourth bird flu case broke out in less than a month, officials said yesterday.

The Agriculture Ministry confirmed the outbreak at a duck farm in Asan, about 92km south of Seoul, was the H5 strain but it still needs further tests to determine whether it is the N1 type.

South Korea has had three outbreaks of the H5N1 virus of bird flu at chicken and quail farms since last month, resulting in the slaughter of more than 1 million poultry.

Quarantine officials have started slaughtering 23,000 poultry within 3km of the outbreak site while limiting the movement of chickens and ducks from 65 farms within a 10km radius of the outbreak.

Quarantine officials also were preparing to destroy 630,000 eggs at a farm in a neighboring province as the eggs came from the outbreak site, said Kim Hak-ryol, an official at Gyeonggi Province.

Meanwhile, authorities in Vietnam said yesterday that bird flu had spread in two provinces in the southern Mekong delta, where massive outbreaks were first reported early this week.

Additional cases of the H5N1 virus were detected in Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces, with nearly 8,300 poultry dead or culled, the national animal health department said on its Web site.

The two provinces were the first to report major outbreaks of bird flu in country within the past year. The virus had been identified in different locations in August but only a few storks were said to be killed.

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