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According to the press agency Reuters, Vietnam has confirmed the first outbreak of H5N8 avian flu on Friday. The case was reported at a chicken farm located in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Ministry of agriculture informed in a news release that samples from the farm in the province’s Ha Long City tested positive for the virus a day earlier. Additionally, it was mentioned that the tests were carried out after more than 200 chickens were found dead at the farm last month, and now authorities are taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“H5N8 not only kills poultry but also infects humans without leaving symptoms,” the head of the province’s animal health department, Tran Xuan Dong, said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week the risk of human-to-human spread of the H5N8 strain of bird flu appears low after seven people in Russia contacted the virus but were asymptomatic.
Several countries across Africa, Europe, and Asia have reported outbreaks of H5N8 avian flu.
Avian flu is a highly contagious viral disease caused by type A orthomyxoviruses (Alphainfluenzavirus or Influenzavirus A) that affects all kinds of birds. All viruses are divided based on the antigenic relationships into 16 hemagglutinin (H1-16) and 9 subtypes of neuraminidase (N1-9).
Figure 1. Avian Influenza Virus. Note the
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