Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New outbreak in Northern Laos

"A fresh outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus has struck in Nam Ma village, Long district, in Luang Namtha province, according to a report from the Department of Livestock and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The village of 53 houses lost 600 of its poultry stocks within 3 days last week [4-8 Feb 2008], the Director General of the department, Dr Bounkhouang Khambounheuang, told Vientiane Times yesterday [11 Feb 2008].

The village is in an isolated district about 35 km [21.7 miles] from the Myanmar and Chinese borders. When poultry 1st started dying, the authorities sent staff from the provincial Livestock and Fisheries Office to investigate, and they sent samples of chicken meat to the National Centre for Animal Health in Vientiane on Friday [8 Feb 2008] for analysis. The centre analysed the sample using the standard RT-PCR technique, and confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus on Saturday, said Dr Bounkhouang.

The department and the National Avian Human Influenza Coordination Office quickly took steps to contain the outbreak and sent technical staff to work with Luang Namtha provincial authorities in the village and initiate precautionary measures in nearby communities, he said.
Dr Bounkhouang said the department had placed a ban on the movement and sale of poultry or eggs, and had begun spraying birds with disinfectant. Of the 1700 poultry in the village, all within a one kilometre radius of the village will be destroyed."


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