Vaccinated chickens in Vietnam die of bird flu

Other News Materials 17 July 2008 13:00 (UTC +04:00)

Hundreds of chickens at a poultry farm in southern Vietnam died of avian influenza even though the owner of the farm reported the birds were vaccinated against the disease, an official said Thursday.

Several hundred of the 3,000 chickens died at a farm in Tan Lan commune in the Long An province, 50 kilometres west of Ho Chi Minh City, since late June. Last week they were tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, said Dinh Van The, head of the province's Animal Health Department, reported dpa.

The owner of the farm reported to the department that all the birds in the farm had been vaccinated against bird flu, he said.

"We suspect that the owner of the farm was not honest in his report, or the vaccine used at the farm was of bad quality," The said. "We are investigating the case."

H5N1 mainly affects poultry and wild birds, but can infect humans who have close contact with sick fowl. Scientists fear if it spreads unchecked, the disease could mutate into a form that could be transmitted between humans, leading to a worldwide pandemic with the potential to kill millions.

Bird flu killed five people in Vietnam since the beginning of this year, raising the bird flu death toll in the country to 52 since H5N1 first appeared in the country in late 2003.