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Vietnam official denies suppressing news of bird flu outbrea

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Anthony Galloway's picture
Joined: 17-Dec-08
Posts: 2317

A top Vietnamese veterinary official has denied attempts to conceal information about a bird flu outbreak in a northern province, saying the case was complicated and took time to confirm.

An outbreak on February 18 in Hai Duong province’s Thanh Mien district saw 6,000 chickens out of a flock of 10,500 die but authorities only admitted to it on Wednesday following a media outcry.

Bui Quang Anh, director of the National Department of Animal Health, confessing that bird flu test results normally took two days, said in this instance it had taken nine days for the authorities to make the announcement because of complications.

The samples were first sent to Hai Phong city for analysis where experts tested them twice before sending to Hanoi. There scientists confirmed it was indeed the H5N1 virus.

Meanwhile, the press reported about the chicken deaths while the authorities kept mum, triggering allegations that the government was trying to conceal the information.

Anh added: “Announcing a newly infected zone would have a great impact on society… Everyone rest assured: there’s no suppression of information.”

He also raised a concern that the disease could erupt on a wide scale following the government’s decision to lift March 1 a three-year ban on hatching and raising waterfowl.

Reported by Quang Duan - Translated by A.N.O.N [/b]


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