September 07, 2012
New highly toxic avian flu virus spreads to Vietnam
Localities warned against new bird flu outbreaks
As of August 23, four cases of A/H5N1 infection had been recorded with two deaths in Vietnam.
Health workers said that the epidemic will become more complicated, especially in the northern and central regions, when it reaches its peak in the next two months.
According to the national steering committee for bid flu prevention and control, seven provinces and cities, including Ha Tinh, Haiphong, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Bac Kan, Quang Ngai and Thanh Hoa, have not yet passed the 21-day deadline for no bird flu infection.
Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Health Department, said that the disease has occurred in Vietnam since 2003, causing a huge loss of human life and property.
He asked local authorities, relevant agencies and people to take sterilization and vaccination measures and strictly control the transport, slaughtering and trading of poultry in order to curb the epidemic.
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced the appearance of a new H5N1 virus in Asia that is more dangerous than the original one.
Associate Professor Nguyen Tran Hien, Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), confirmed that no cases of the new virus has been detected in Vietnam.
However, he said, it is urgent to prevent the A/H5N1 virus from changing into new types with higher toxic contamination through people-to-people transmission.
The healthcare sector should work more closely with relevant agencies and local households to intensify sanitation and sterilization work and quickly stamp out new outbreaks of the fatal disease, he added.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister on September 6 urged ministries, sectors and localities to strengthen the prevention and control of the avian influenza A/H5N1, hand-foot-mouth disease and dengue fever.
So far this year, there have been 80,180 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease with 41 deaths and 43,220 cases of dengue with 35 deaths.
To prevent these diseases from spreading, the PM asked the chairmen of provincial and city people's committees to establish interdisciplinary teams to inspect the prevention and control of epidemics in their localities, especially in residential areas, kindergartens and slaughterhouses.
He emphasized the need to spray for mosquitoes and increase the dissemination of information on the preventive methods by village-based health staff.
The Government leader also assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist local authorities in the inspection of poultry and waterfowl diseases to prevent transmission of the A/H5N1 virus to humans.