Vietnamese official have confirmed that the bird flu virus has been detected in ten of the country's 64 provinces, mostly in the Mekong delta region. In an eleventh province where bird flu has yet to be confirmed, poultry has been culled as a precautionary measure.
Sixteen people were killed in Vietnam by the H5N1 bird flu virus strain earlier this year, when the disease spread to 57 provinces and prompted the culling of 44 million chickens and ducks. Vietnam's government had declared the country free of the disease on 30 March 2004, but disease control experts said at the time that the statements were premature.
In neighbouring Thailand, health officials say tests continue on two boys suspected of being infected with the virus. Seventeen other people on the same 'watch list' have been declared uninfected.