Published Date: 2007-05-13 15:00:01
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (81): Bangladesh, Viet Nam
Archive Number: 20070513.1529
AVIAN INFLUENZA (81): BANGLADESH, VIET NAM
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
 Viet Nam
Date: Sat 12 May 2007
Source: Independent Online, Agence France-Presse (AFP) report [edited]
Bangladesh authorities are struggling to combat deadly bird flu as it
spreads across farms in the impoverished country, with a leading expert
warning the situation is "very grave."
First detected at a farm in late March , near the capital Dhaka, it
has so far infected more than 40 farms in 11 districts, prompting
authorities to cull 151 000 birds, government spokesman Abdul Motalib said.
Officials were facing enormous challenges in combating the virus in the
nation, where resources are badly stretched, Motalib said. "The situation
is not grave yet. But with limited technical men and working 7 days a week,
we have been struggling to combat the deadly disease," he said.
However, the technical adviser to the Bangladesh Poultry Association said
the situation was worse than the government described. "The situation is
very grave and a disaster could happen any time. There have been a lot of
unreported bird flu deaths in farms and cover-ups," leading poultry
industry expert MM Khan said. "The flu is no longer confined to farms.
Recently it infected domestic birds and fowls and there's a real danger it
could infect humans" in densely populated Bangladesh, said Khan. "The
farmers are not reporting bird flu deaths to government authorities for
fear of losses in their farms and pressure by adjoining farms. There is
hardly any monitoring," Khan added.
Government official Motalib said a farm in the northern Nilphamari district
was the latest to be infected with the deadly virus on Friday [11 May
2007]. More than 3000 chickens and ducks were culled.
So far, there have been no reports of human infection in Bangladesh, but
the country could see a "South East Asia-like" situation if the government
does not step up its efforts to fight the disease, said poultry expert
Khan. "The whole situation lacks transparency and even though we have had
the flu for about 2 months, the government still lacks doctors, technical
people, and the protection kits to combat the disease," he said.
Bangladesh is home to hundreds of thousands of poultry farms employing more
than a million people. It had already banned imports of live birds from
more than 50 countries, including neighbouring India and Myanmar, after
outbreaks were detected there.
The country does not have proper facilities to detect the disease and
usually sends samples to Bangkok, Thailand. The government last month
[April 2007] sought UN (United Nations) help to set up a lab to tackle the
disease. "The Food and Agriculture Organisation (OIE) has agreed to help
us," Motalib said.
[byline: Shafiq Alam]
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall
[Since the start of the current epizootic in Bangladesh on 5 Feb 2007, the
authorities have reported to the OIE about 12 outbreaks in poultry:
initially (30 Mar 2007) about 3, and -- in a follow-up report, dated 30 Apr
2007 -- about 9 additional outbreaks. The follow-up report, including a
map, is available at
The current situation, when -- according to the newswire above -- the
disease has already spread to more than 40 farms in 11 districts, is indeed
a cause for grave concern. An update is long due. - Mod.AS]
 Viet Nam
Date: Sun 13 May 2007
Source: Chinadaily.com, Xinhua Agency report [edited]
Viet Nam's central Nghe An province, which detected an outbreak among fowls
in early May , has faced a new one, a local veterinary official told
Xinhua on Sunday [13 May 2007].
On condition of anonymity, an official from the Department of Animal Health
under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that nearly
1300 out of flocks of 3800 ducks raised by 3 households in Hung Nguyen
district, Nghe An, were found dead on 9 May 2007. He added that samples
from dead poultry tested positive to bird flu virus strain H5.
Earlier, specimens from ducks raised by a household in Dien Chau district,
Nghe An, tested positive to H5. Among the flock of 610 ducks, 246 died
[between] 1 and 4 May 2007.
Nghe An is the only locality in Viet Nam currently [affected] by bird flu,
the official said. Bird flu outbreaks in Viet Nam, starting in December
2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of
fowls in the country.
Viet Nam is actively vaccinating fowls against bird flu viruses to prevent
potential outbreaks, the official said, noting that a total of 111 million
poultry in 60 cities and provinces have been vaccinated so far this year
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall
[This is the 58th HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) outbreak in Viet
Nam known since the start of the renewed epizootic on 6 Dec 2006. For the
most recent (02 Apr 2007) OIE (World Animal Health Organization) available
summary of the situation and a map, see
There have been no confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Viet
Nam since mid-November 2005, when Viet Nam led the world with a total of 42
deaths attributable to H5N1 influenza. - Mod.AS]