The head of Laos Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's Department of Livestock and Fisheries confirmed the new outbreak last week, saying tests performed so far have proven positive for the deadly bird flu virus strain H5N1.
Department Chief Dr. Bounkhouang Khambounheuang said the new outbreak struck Nam Ma village in Long district, near the borders with China and Burma, where hundreds of poultry died. His department has issued bans on transfer or sale of all kinds of birds and eggs, and ordered the culling of all poultry within one-kilometer radius of the village.
Authorities are also keeping an eye on four neighboring provinces - Luang Prabang, Bokeo, Phongsaly and Oudomxay - which are at a very high risk of further outbreaks.
Lao officials have launched a campaign to train personnel on how to cope with sudden outbreaks of bird flu and to educate the people about the dangers and how to assist in preventing further outbreaks. But one official says technically they are prepared and ready to cope with avian flu emergencies, but what they need most is a budget to carry out their works.
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