Vietnam hit by new 'highly-toxic' bird flu: Reports
HANOI (AFP) - A new highly-toxic strain of the potentially deadly bird flu virus has appeared in Vietnam and is spreading fast, according to state media reports.
The strain appeared to be a mutation of the H5N1 virus which swept through the country's poultry flocks last year, forcing mass culls of birds in affected areas, according to agriculture officials.
The new virus "is quickly spreading and this is the big concern of the government", Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan said, according to a Thursday report in the VietnamNet online newspaper.
Experts cited in the report said the new virus appeared in July and had spread through Vietnam's northern and central regions in August.