11/22/2005, 00.00
ASIA

Two more suspected avian flu deaths in Indonesia and Vietnam

New outbreaks are reported in China and Vietnam. Thailand reports new human cases.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A35-year-old man in Indonesia and another 54-Vietnam are the latest casualties in the bird flu outbreak.

World Health Organisation tests are still not in to confirm local findings. The virus is spreading to China and Vietnam; three new patients in Thailand.

China. Authorities reported two new outbreaks yesterday. In Morin Dawa County in Inner Mongolia 176 birds died on November 15; in the city of Shishou (Hubei) 3,500 ducks died.

Since October 1, outbreaks have killed 144,624 poultry and prompted the culling of 21.2 million to contain the disease.

It was reported on Sunday that local authorities have been ordered to report avian flu outbreaks, as well as outbreaks of other animal diseases, to national authorities within four hours.

Officials who fail to comply can be fined US 7 and be demoted or fired.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Yin Chengje also reported that many migratory and wild birds have died and that the virus should be expected to spread as cold weather arrives.

Vietnam. The 54-year-old man from Vietnam's southern Vinh Long province who was hospitalised on November 11 with bird flu symptoms died several hours after being admitted. He had fever, exhaustion, and breathing difficulties.

Tests on possible causes for his death are still not in. It is known though that he raised geese and that they died ten days before he fell ill.

New outbreaks have been reported in the districts of Dong Trieu and Luong, respectively in the northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Thai Nguyen. The virus has been found 16 places. Since October 1, one million birds have been culled.

Thailand. Three suspected bird flu patients have been reported in Thailand's eastern Chacherngsao Province; all are children aged between three to eleven years. Some days ago, the chickens their families raised had died.

Banned for the whole of 2005, cockfighting will be allowed back next year but under new rules.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Khun Ying Sudarat Keyuraphan said that only birds that have been registered and passed a health check can compete.

So far she said only about 40,000 of Thailand's one million fighting cocks has been registered.

Indonesia. The director general of the Health Ministry's Disease Control Branch, I. Nyoman Kandun, said it was unclear whether the 35-year-old man who died a few days ago in a Jakarta hospital from suspected bird flu had any contact with dead chickens. Test results have to be confirmed by a laboratory in Hong Kong.

Japan. Local authorities have confirmed that an avian flu outbreak on a farm in Ibaraki prefecture is not H5N1, but rather a low-pathogenic version of H5N2.

North Korea. Tighter controls and quarantine have been imposed along the border and in ports. An outbreak on a chicken farm near Pyongyang was reported in early 2005, and others have followed. (PB) 

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