Vietnam confirms first bird flu outbreak in 1 year

Thousands of poultry died of bird flu in the past two weeks in southern Vietnam, the government said Wednesday, in the country's first reported outbreak in a year. Tests showed that some 5,500 one-month-old ducks and 500 chickens died of the H5N1 bird flu strain in the southern Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu, said Hoang Van Nam, deputy director of the Department of Animal Health. Although 42 people have died of H5N1 in Vietnam since late 2003, the Southeast Asian country has not reported any human infections since November 2005, and the last reported outbreak in birds was a month later. There was no immediate comment from the World Health Organization.