Bird flu outbreaks in two provinces last month left more than 4,000 ducks dead from the virus but no human infections, specialists in the Ministry of Agriculture said Wednesday.
Tests confirmed the deadly H5N1 virus in ducks in Kompong Cham and Prey Veng provinces, said Kao Phal, director of the ministry’s animal health and production department. Kao Phal said recent floods may have facilitated the spread of the virus. The first outbreak, in early August, occurred in Prey Veng’s Sena Oddom commune in Khlar Kham village, where 1,281 of 1,600 ducks died from the disease. Authorities destroyed the remaining fowl, Kao Phal said.
Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun said some villagers from Khlar Kham village, not wanting their sick birds to be destroyed, fled with their animals to neighboring Kompong Cham before authorities had reached Prey Veng. The transport of the animals led to two subsequent outbreaks in Kompong Cham, he said.
Nearly 3,000 ducks had died in Angkaul village in Kompong Cham’s Suong commune by Aug 18, Kao Phal said.
In Sambo commune, Batheay district, two villagers whose ducks tested positive for bird flu lost nearly 500 animals to the disease between Aug 28 and Aug 31, Kao Phal said. He added that tests of 500 ducks suspected of having bird flu in Sambo commune’s Tbong Khmum district revealed that the birds in fact had avian hepatitis. Ly Sovann, deputy director for the Ministry of Health’s communicable disease control department, said hair and nail tests of Prey Veng and Kompong Cham villagers showed that the virus had not spread to people.