Bird Flu Outbreak Detected in Vientiane Market

Bird Flu Outbreak Detected in Vientiane Market(Photo: VNA)

The Department of Livestock and Fisheries, under the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, officially confirmed an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu at Danxang market in Xaythany district, Vientiane, on 2 February.

According to a report issued by the Lao Centre for Animal Disease Research, a concerning 30 out of 65 poultry samples collected from the market tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

After initial discovery, 11 additional samples were collected, revealing the presence of the H5N1 virus in five samples and the H9N2, an avian influenza virus subtype, in another five upon further analysis.

In response to the outbreak, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry in Vientiane has issued directives to the livestock sector to collaborate with relevant agencies to investigate the sources of infection, gather essential information, isolate affected areas, and implement measures such as the destruction of infected poultry or the zoning off of high-risk areas.

Additionally, local residents are also being instructed to play a vital role in curbing the spread of the disease. The situation remains under close scrutiny as government agencies coordinate to safeguard both public health and the agricultural sector.

Both the H5N1 and H9N2 viruses are subtypes of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu. These viruses primarily infect birds, including domestic poultry and wild birds, and can cause severe illness with high mortality rates in infected bird populations.

However, cases of transmission to humans have been reported, leading to severe respiratory illness and, in some instances, death. Human infections are frequently linked to direct contact with infected birds or their environments.

To prevent bird flu, individuals are advised to avoid direct contact with wild birds, report sick or dead birds, practice safe handling and cooking of poultry, and be aware of actions if exposed or sick.