Vietnam is encourtering high risk of bird flu reoccurrence amid outbreaks in some neighbor countries and potential weather conditions favorable for development of bird flu viruses, the local newspaper Youth said on Wednesday.
The newspaper quoted Bui Ba Bang, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, as saying that the high risk is fueled by recent bird flu outbreaks in neighbor countries, future stronger raising of poultry to serve big traditional festivals in late 2006 and early 2007, and coming cold weather conditions which favor the development of the viruses,
Other contributing factors include the unavailability of bird flu vaccines for white-featured ducks and coming season of migratory birds, he said.
Vietnam is intensifying disease surveillance, prevention of poultry smuggling, and vaccination among fowls nationwide, the newspaper said.
According to the agriculture ministry's Department of Animal Health, the country, which has so far this year vaccinated 98.4 million chickens and 35.2 million ducks, plans to complete the vaccination by October.
Vietnam had a total poultry population of 254 million by late 2002, and it has annually grown by an average of 6.5 percent. Bird flu outbreaks, starting in the country in December 2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of fowls.
The last outbreak of bird flu among poultry in Vietnam was in December 2005, the department said.