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Efficient Asymptomatic Spread of Bird Flu in Central Highlands

Recombinomics Commentary
January 18, 2005

>>Nearly 1,200 ducks from Tran Van Thanh's family and 270 ducks from Le Van Hien's family were culled in the ancient town of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam on Monday. Almost all the duck samples tested positive with bird flu virus. Local authorities and relevant agencies immediately intensified tough measures to cope with the situation, such as quarantines and banning the slaughtering, trading and transporting of poultry suspected to have contracted the fatal disease.<<

The spread of H5N1 in asymptomatic ducks appears to be increasing and the virus appears to be readily transmitted.  Earlier reports indicated almost half of the ducks in Can Tho City tested positive for H5N1.  The asymptomatic ducks were found in additional regions of southern Vietnam.  Now in the central highlands of Vietnam the frequency is approaching 100%.  Again there is no mention of dying ducks, just culling of ducks that tested positive.

Controlling ducks, which do not display symptoms but have highly transmissible virus that is lethal to humans, will continue to be a challenge and the potential for bird flu to enter the food supply remains high.

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