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Friday, July 19, 2024

Inspections of poultry imports strengthened amid H5N1 fear

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued a dispatch urging the inspection of poultry and poultry product imports into Vietnam to prevent the spread of the influenza A virus subtype H5N1.

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  1. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is right to take this action because Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 has a potentially devastating financial impact on the poultry industry, as does the knock-on effect of a reduced demand for meats and eggs from a distrusting public.

    Ramping up surveillance of viral pneumonia in both poultry and people is also an important public health measure. The World Health Organization acknowledges concern about the possibility of human-to-human transmission.

    As we know from SARS-CoV-2, a random mutation of respiratory viruses leads to a novel strain of increased virulence. If this were to happen so that H5N1 readily infects humans, the development of a seasonal flu vaccine would be tweaked so it could target the potentially pandemic pathogenic avian strain.

    Improvements have been made to the global outbreak detection system following the COVID-19 pandemic that are helping to ensure better epidemic preparedness for bird flu should it spread significantly to humans. Inspection of poultry imports to Vietnam is a good example of this.

    Andrew W. Taylor-Robinson
    (Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Health Sciences, VinUniversity, Hanoi).


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