Cases of bird flu have been reported in Noong Luong Commune, Dien Bien District in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien. Director of the provincial Department of Animal Health Cao Thi Tuyet Lan said bird flu outbreaks were discovered last Friday in two households in the commune’s Village 12, with nearly 720 livestock suffering from the disease. Three days later, local authority discovered nearly 400 other livestock infected with the H5N1 virus in Village 15. Since the outbreak, authorities have detected and culled more than 1,000 sick livestock in the commune. The province banned sick livestock from being transported, processed and traded out of the affected area, and closely supervised slaughter and trade in other districts and communes of the province. The provincial People’s Committee also quarantined the affected areas, and counted the number of livestock, especially ducks in Noong Luong Commune and Muong Thanh District, to ensure that a bird flu epidemic does not spread. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also gave guidance on carrying out preventive measures such as sterilisation of farms where infected poultry have been reported.



A 31-year-old man has become the 2nd patient to be successfully treated for bird flu (H5N1) so far this year in Vietnam. The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) announced that the patient has recovered and been discharged from the hospital after 19 days of intensive treatment. His family said they had previously slaughtered and eaten a sick home-raised chicken more than 10 days earlier, from which he later developed a cough and high fever. The entire flock of chicken also died. In a previous case, the hospital successfully treated a 22-year-old bird flu patient from Binh Duong Province. Vietnam has so far this year reported 4 bird flu infections, 2 of which have been fatal, after a 20-month absence. On 21 Mar, the Animal Health Department announced that Vietnam was free of bird flu. According to relevant regulations, a province is considered free from an infectious disease if there is no new infection in three weeks.


Hanoi authorities announced an outbreak of bird flu last week, one week after it was known that thousands of culled ducks had tested positive for the H5N1 virus. Nearly 2,600 ducks from a local pond were culled in Dong Tien Hamlet of Phuong Duc Commune in Hanoi’s outlying Phu Xuyen District on February 17, the news website VietNamNet reported Monday. Five days later, the Central Animal Health Diagnosis Center at Vietnam’s Health Ministry confirmed that the fowl had tested positive for bird flu. But the hamlet only released the information on March 1, making it the first reported outbreak bird flu in the capital city this year. The commune has nearly 25,000 ducks being raised by 18 families. Phung Van Tao, head of the district animal health center, said the infected flocks were between 21 and 42 days old and had not been vaccinated against bird flu. Tao told VietNamNet the ducks were not raised in caged enclosures. Bird flu virus has infected three people in Vietnam this year, including two fatal cases in the Mekong Delta in January and one from Binh Duong Province who was released from the hospital Tuesday. It has infected flocks in 12 provinces in northern and central Vietnam. Vietnam health authorities have warned that a crisis may be underway, as the country is not equipped with a proper vaccines to combat the spread of the virus, which has mutated and is now resistant to previously effective vaccines.


The Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has become the third province in Vietnam to report bird flu outbreak this year, the Department of Animal Health reported Sunday. The agency made the statement just over two months after announcing that the epidemic had been curbed, along with foot-and-mouth disease in cattle. According to the department, 90 chickens in Soc Trang’s My Xuyen District have become ill or have died, adding that it has provided two million doses of the bird flu vaccine to the province in order to stop the recurrence from spreading. Last week, central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Quang Tri also reported hundreds of cases of sick or dead fowl. Health experts warned there is a high likelihood the disease will spread widely in the near future because the A/H5N1 virus in northern Vietnam has mutated and effective vaccines are not yet available. Since the beginning of this year Vietnam has recorded two human fatalities caused by bird flu – an 18-year-old man in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang and a 26-year-old woman in Soc Trang Province, also in the Mekong Delta. The cases occurred after nearly 20 months of no reported cases of humans contracting the A/H5N1 virus. According to a World Bank report in October last year, Vietnam was among the countries most affected by H5N1, with 119 human cases confirmed as of March 2011, of which 59 were fatal. Since 2003, bird flu outbreaks have killed and led to the forced culling of tens of millions of fowl in Vietnam. The World Health Organization ranked Vietnam the country second most affected by bird flu after Indonesia.