Avian influenza virus subtype H5N1 appeared in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh as 177 chickens in Phong Thanh commune, Cau Ke district, were tested positive for the virus, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development affirmed.

The detection prompted the Tra Vinh People’s Committee to order all relevant agencies to step up prevention measures, including notifying residents about the situation, vaccinating livestock and poultry against flu strains, and sterilising farms and abattoirs.

The committee also asked agencies to set up and enhance the operation of checkpoints along waterways and roads traversing flu-hit communes as well as in localities neighbouring other provinces such as Cang Long town, Cau Quan town, Thong Hoa commune, and Dinh An commune.

Quarantine staff members were also sent to markets, wharfs, and bus stations to monitor livestock and fowl trade and transport.

In the first quarter of 2014, Tra Vinh recorded 25 avian influenza outbreaks in 12 communes which killed 16,500 out of the total 22,000 chickens.-VNA