New H5N1 virus found in many provinces

A new H5N1 virus strain has been found in some northern provinces, central regions and the central highlands, according to the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The old strain is still active in the southern provinces of Vietnam (from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau province at the southern most tip of Vietnam). The government has halted nationwide vaccinations against H5N1, saying the new strain of the virus has rendered the existing vaccine ineffective.

However, the Chinese made vaccine, H5N1 Re-5, is still effective against the old strain. Hence MARD has asked the government to use the old vaccine to contain the new strain in provinces, while waiting for new vaccines.

Apart from the affected provinces, authorities in  the Mekong delta provinces of An Giang, Long An, Tien Giang, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and Ca Mau must continue to administer the old vaccine.

By V. Phuc - Translated by Nhat Lam

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