|At a conference held on 19 Dec 2006 by the National Steering Committee on Bird Flu Control, Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Development and the committee`s head, slammed the 2 provincial administrations for negligence and delay in discovering the outbreaks which had occurred at the start of December .
On 6 Dec 2006 the disease broke out in Ca Mau`s Tran Van Thoi district, killing 2520 chicks and ducklings, all of which later [found] positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus.
The next day 5 duck flocks took ill in Hoa Binh district in Bac Lieu. Some 3500 ducklings died, all of which too tested positive for H5N1.
The committee claimed the dead birds had not been vaccinated because they had been hatched illegally.
There is a real threat now of the disease spreading to other places since the farmers threw away the birds` carcasses before the outbreak
came to light.
Phat instructed the 2 provinces to quickly quarantine and sterilize their infected areas, and others to maintain extreme vigilance.
He also directed local agencies to find out the cause of the outbreaks since there were no reports of recurrence in areas neighboring the 2 provinces.
If any new infections occurred, Phat warned, the local administrations would be held responsible.
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