Home Institution

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Viet Nam: Ecology and Sustainability in the Mekong Delta


Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus H5N1 presents an incredible threat to human and animal health throughout the planet. Little is known about the prevalence of this virus in wild bird populations; however it is evident that the virus has spread throughout most of Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa through well established migratory flyways. Although H5N1 was first detected in central China, Vietnam has been hit the hardest by this virus, with nearly one hundred human cases to date (World Health Organization, 2006) and one hundred twenty million dollars lost in their poultry industry (Gov. of USA, 2005). Even though incidents of human and poultry outbreaks in Vietnam have decreased significantly in recent months, it is likely that the H5N1 virus is still present in the wild. Capturing and banding wild and migratory birds in the Plain of Reeds of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam will allow viral samples to be collected that can be tested for the presence of the H5N1 virus, thus increasing HPAI surveillance in the country and potentially preventing or minimizing future outbreaks both in country and along migration routes.


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Poultry or Avian Science

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