Saturday, February 18, 2012

A/H5N1 virus mutates against vaccines


(VOV) - The avian flu virus has genetically changed into new, highly toxic viruses that spread easily and resist vaccines while Vietnam has no vaccines to prevent these new kinds of flu in humans.

A/H5N1 has so far seen a 100 percent fatality rate in detected cases.

Experts say that the mutation of the virus will cause many difficulties in efforts to monitor the epidemic.

In northern provinces, a new strain of avian flu, 2.3.2, has been found, which has once again ramified into two sub-branches.

The country’s current vaccine stocks have proven impotent before the new viruses and are able to deal with only 75 percent of the old viruses.

All this poses a great threat of spreading the viruses through families and transmitting them from fowl to humans.

To make matters worse, specialist agencies have found that many water birds can carry the A/H5N1 virus yet show no symptoms of the disease.

At least 11 localities nationwide have reported an avian flu epidemic and nearly 20,000 fowl, mainly ducks, have already been culled, according to the Vietnam Animal Health agency.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked the Prime Minister to allocate VND13 billion from the State budget to buy 50 million doses of vaccine against the Re-5 strain of the flu.

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