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New Bird Flu Outbreak in Luang Namtha


Lao authorities said they now have the bird flu outbreak in Nam Ma village in Luang Namtha province under control, but another outbreak has struck in Baan Thong Mai, only three kilometers from Muang Sing.

The newly affected village is also adjacent to another urban area, Muang Long, which is close to the borders with Burma and China. Officials said they have destroyed over 3,000 chickens in the Thong Mai area, but efforts to contain the outbreak is hampered by villagers who do not understand the severity of the situation and hide their poultry because they did not want to lose them.

The close proximity to urban areas has prompted assistance from foreign organizations and countries including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Embassy, and China who provided spray equipments, said a provincial official.

In mid-February, bird flu struck Baan Nam Ma area, where more than 300 chickens suddenly died, and dead bird specimens testing positive for the deadly virus strain H5N1. The outbreak was brought under control after officials destroyed all poultry within a one kilometer radius and banned all poultry transfer into and out of the area. Authorities have paid out some 24 million kips to affected villagers, amounting to about 60% of the total damage cost.

For more details in Lao, listen to our audio file.(reported date: 2/25/08)

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