Thu, Dec 28, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Vietnam says bird flu contained but not eliminated

AGENCIES , HANOI AND CAIRO

Bird flu outbreaks in two Mekong Delta provinces of Vietnam have been contained but the risk of recurrence there and elsewhere was still high, officials said yesterday.

Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat said in a report that the outbreaks had been brought under control in the Mekong Delta, where more than 9,000 ducks and chicken have been slaughtered since a first outbreak on Dec. 11.

The Animal Health Department said yesterday that bird flu was still present in five communes in the two Mekong Delta provinces.

The Agriculture Ministry's report also highlighted the risk of a bird flu recurrence in the Red River Delta in the country's north due to the widespread smuggling of poultry from China and the increased consumption of poultry during Lunar New Year in February. The outbreaks of the H5N1 virus were the first in Vietnam since August.

Meanwhile, several cases of avian flu have spread from poultry to humans in the Nile Delta, Egyptian health authorities said this week as they worked to wipe out the outbreak among chickens and ducks.

A 15-year-old girl died on Monday, a day after the death of a woman in her 30s whose family members also showed symptoms.

Egypt has reported nine confirmed human deaths from H5N1 avian flu this year.

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