HANOI, Aug. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Vietnam has just confirmed that three rare civets in the Cuc Phuong National Park died due to infection with bird flu virus strain H5N1, according to the local newspaper Saigon Liberation on Tuesday.
This is the first time the virus has been found in civets, said the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday.
The Owston civets, born in captivity in the park in northern Ninh Binh province, 90 km south of Hanoi capital city, died late June after eating infected fowl meat, the ministry noted.
Since the first bird flu patient was detected in Vietnam in late 2003, up to 91 human cases of infections, including 41 fatalities, have been reported in 31 cities and provinces.
According to local veterinary agencies, up to 70 percent of waterfowls in the southern Mekong delta have been recently tested positive to H5N1. Vietnam has culled over 1,300 fowls in 8 localities of Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Can Tho, Tra Vinh, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, Bac Ninh and Hanoi since early April.
The country is conducting bird flu vaccination for fowls, mainly chickens and ducks, in 47 out of 64 cities and provinces. The total fund for vaccinating over 200 million fowls in the 2005-2006 period is estimated at 700 billion Vietnamese dong (44.3 million US dollars). Enditem