H5N6 Avian Flu Detected in Oudomxay Province, Laos

H5N6 Avian Flu Detected in Oudomxay Province, Laos

The Oudomxay Department of Agriculture and Forestry has issued a notice stating that authorities have detected the H5N6 avian flu virus in ducks sold at a market in Xay District.

On October 8, a team from the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, together with officials from Xay District, collected 61 sample ducks and chickens from a market in Tin Village, Xay Province. The animals were tested in a laboratory and proved positive for the H5N6 virus.

Authorities said some 300-400 ducks and chickens were sourced from a neighboring country and imported through the international border checkpoint at Bokeo, before being sent to the market in Oudomxay for sale.

The H5N6 virus, known as bird flu or avian flu, is a subtype of the species Influenza A virus. It mainly affects birds, although there have been cases of the virus occurring in humans.

Oudomxay provincial authorities are prohibiting the import of ducks or chickens from any of the surrounding provinces or from neighboring countries until further notice.

Meanwhile, the Phongsaly Department of Industry and Commerce has issued a notice to its district-level offices, instructing them to closely monitor the import and sale of poultry across the province, prohibiting the sale and consumption of poultry in affected areas.

Of the four known cases of H5N6 occurring in humans, three were fatal.