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May 28, 2017

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Hanoi bans transportation of poultry by bikes to stop flu

HANOI -- Vietnam's capital city Hanoi has banned the use of motorcycles and bicycles to transport live poultry as part of efforts to protect the city from a bird flu outbreak. Starting this week, all poultry brought into the city must be transported by specialized trucks and be certified bird flu-free by the local animal health department, the city government said on Tuesday.

Hanoi has not been hit by the deadly H5N1 virus yet but the agriculture ministry said this week a new bird flu outbreak was discovered in the province of Ca Mau, where several hundred ducks had tested positive to bird flu.

The bans may be difficult to enforce because large parts of Hanoi are rural and motorcycles are the primary means of transportation for millions of people in Vietnam. Hanoi has a population of about 6 million. Vietnam has this year confirmed one case of human infection in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, involving an 8-year-old girl who fell sick after eating duck and chicken raised on her family's farm. She recovered.

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