Prime Minister urges active bird flu prevention
HCMC - The Prime Minister, worried over the rapid spread of bird flu in neighboring China, on March 27 issued Order 427/CD-TTg urging relevant agencies to enhance supervision to prevent the H7N9 strain of the bird flu virus and other strains from spreading to Vietnam.
The Government leader asked central and local agencies to strictly monitor people coming from infected areas to Vietnam through border gates and border crossings, and map out solutions to timely deal with cases of humans infected with H7N9.
Such authorities are also told to actively take poultry and environment samples for testing to detect H7N9 and other bird flu virus strains, and should have plans to temporarily close down poultry markets once the H7N9 virus is detected there.
According to the Department of Animal Health, the risks of H7N9, H5N2 and H5N8 spreading to Vietnam are high, especially via legal and illegal poultry trading, transport and consumption of poultry products, especially in northern provinces.
The spread might be also facilitated by tourism activities by residents of the two countries as happened in Malaysia and Canada.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1,342 Chinese people have been confirmed to be infected with H7N9 with 494 of them killed over the past three years. In the first three months of the year, 533 cases have been reported, including 17 infection cases in Guangxi province bordering Vietnam due to contact with live poultry, and two others infected in Yunnan.
China has detected more than 2,000 samples that are positive to H7N9 in chickens, ducks, pigeons, and parrots in poultry markets and farms.
According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country currently has seen outbreaks in 15 livestock farming households in 11 communes of seven provinces, including Bac Lieu, Nam Dinh, An Giang, Soc Trang, Dong Nai, Nghe An and Quang Ngai.
At the same time, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has announced several H5N1 outbreaks in Svey Rieng province in Cambodia next to Vietnam’s border.
Recently, the HCMC Department of Health has sent an official request to provincial health departments and functional agencies to reinforce avian influenza prevention in the city. Quarantine agencies are requested to be watchful, and visitors entering the city from affected regions should be given advice to protect themselves.