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Bird flu hits Vietnam poultry farm near northern China

Vietnam said Wednesday an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu has killed almost 90 chicken and ducks on a poultry farm in a northern province bordering China, animal health authorities said Wednesday.

The dead birds were reported Saturday in a small farm in Thach An district, Cao Bang province, said an online report from the Hanoi-based national animal health department of the agriculture ministry.

Test results Monday showed they died of the H5N1 strain of the virus.

Avian influenza has recently been reported in eight communes of Dong Thap province in Vietnam's southern Mekong delta, in northern Cao Bang province and in Dien Bien city near Laos, the report said.

Across the nation, more than 161 million head of poultry have now received bird flu shots in this year's first round of vaccinations, said the report. Last Tuesday, state media in communist Vietnam reported the country's fourth victim of avian influenza this year, a 15-year-old boy whose family had kept ducks at their home in Thanh Hoa province, south of the capital Hanoi

The death brought to 46 the number of people who have died of bird flu in Vietnam since the deadly virus broke out here in late 2003.

Several poultry farms were hit when the killer virus reappeared strongly earlier this year, peaking in May when 18 of the country's 64 provinces and municipalities reported H5N1 cases, mostly among waterfowl.

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