Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vietnam: Border provinces watch for avian flu

The warning was released after the World Health Organisation in Cambodia confirmed that five Cambodian people had contracted the disease since the beginning of the year, of which four died. One of two areas hit by the disease was near the Viet Nam border.
The provinces were asked to tighten international medical quarantine procedures, detect cases with high or acute respiration inflammation and isolate suspected cases for timely treatment in an effort to keep the lethal H5N1 virus from spreading to Viet Nam.
Provinces were also requested to collaborate with agricultural sectors to strengthen the supervision of both domestic and imported poultry.
The health ministry also asked medical units to prepare medicines, chemicals and facilities to deal with outbreaks, if any, and to keep an eye on people coming from Cambodia to Viet Nam for signs of the flu.
The public should be warned of measures to stay safe from the virus, and veterinary units and local authorities should plan together the supervision of an avian influenza H5N1 outbreak in poultry, should it occur.
Department deputy director Tran Thanh Duong said the outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 in Cambodia was a significant threat to Viet Nam.
The disease could spread to Viet Nam through many channels, such as trade border exchange, poultry smuggling or wild birds moving between the two countries, Duong said.
The eight border provinces are Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) and Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An, Dong Thap and An Giang in the south.
Last year, bird flu hit seven provinces of Viet Nam and claimed two deaths.
Ministry of Health statistics say that 121 H5N1 cases have been reported in Viet Nam since 2003. Of that number, 61 resulted in death.

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