31 Mar '12, 6am

Vietnam battles lingering bird flu threat

HANOI: Vietnam may have contained the fatal bird flu outbreak that raged in the late 2000s but it is still struggling with new cases of the disease that have puzzled experts in the communist country. Since January, bird flu outbreaks have occurred in 14 provinces. About 65,000 chicken and ducks have died or been culled. Authorities have confirmed four human cases, of which two have been fatal. It's a long way from the peak in 2003 to 2009 when the virus infected millions of fowl and killed 57 people -- making Vietnam the second worst-hit country after Indonesia, according to the World Health Organisation. In 2011, the country reported no new human cases, but the virus was still there, less threatening but not eradicated. "Bird flu has a harmful impact on agriculture, on people's lives, with the reappearance of new weaker strains," said Hoang Van Nam, director of the animal...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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