Vietnam Reports Foot and Mouth Outbreak


2004.02.11
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Already struggling to contain avian flu, which has ravaged poultry populations and killed 14 people in the country, Vietnam has announced an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the central province of Quang Nam, RFA's Vietnamese service reports.

"The disease was initially reported after lunar new year," Vo Van Tien, Deputy Governor of Quang Nam Province told RFA. "There are seven infected districts and more than 1,000 infected cows and pigs."

He said that around 400 infected cows and pigs were being treated and had recovered. "So far, there are no reports of deaths of infected cattle, except for 20 infected pigs and three infected buffaloes, which were destroyed."

The remaining animal herds have been vaccinated, and the provincial government has imposed a ban on transportation and sales of the animals from the three infected districts, officials said.

Central Quang Ngai and Kon Tum provinces have also reported outbreaks of foot and mouth disease.

The outbreak was reported as Vietnam is struggling with ways to contain a deadly avian influenza that has forced the slaughter of more than 20 million chickens and ducks. Apart from the human victims in Vietnam, five people have died of bird flu in Thailand.

Foot and mouth disease affects all species of cloven-hoofed animals and can devastate livestock. Financial losses from the disease can be heavy, both in terms of direct losses from deaths in young animals, loss of milk, loss of meat, and a decrease in productive performance.

The costs associated with eradication or control can also be high, and affected areas are often subject to trade and travel restrictions.

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