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Bird flu outbreak threatens

Update: February, 08/2012 - 10:16

 

Medical staff destroy around a thousand birds infected with bird flu at a farm in the central province of Quang Tri's Hai Lang District. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau
HA NOI — The Department of Animal Health has warned that there is a high risk of a large-scale outbreak of bird flu without drastic preventive measures in the near future.

Bird flu has been reported in four communes in three provinces of Quang Tri, Thanh Hoa and Soc Trang over the past month, affecting nearly 1,700 poultry and forcing the killing of more than 4,000 domestic fowls, said the department's deputy head Pham Van Dong at a meeting of the Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control yesterday.

A number of poultry suspected of catching the disease have started to appear in other localities such as Nghe An, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang, Ha Noi and Thai Nguyen.

Bird flu has so far killed two people this year in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's Soc Trang and Kien Giang Provinces.

The Health Ministry warned of a possible large-scale outbreak of bird flu if the three affected provinces could not keep the disease under control while unfavourable weather conditions, transport and slaughtering of poultry posed a high risk.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urged localities to immediately vaccinate poultry, increase supervision and tighten management of farms, businesses, markets and slaughtering houses.

Minister Cao Duc Phat on Monday ordered cities and provinces across the country to take urgent measures to prevent a resurgence of bird flu.

A mutation of the H5N1 virus has been discovered in the northern region and existing vaccines do not offer protection against the mutant strain, Hoang Van Nam, head of the Animal Health Department, warned.

The ministry has called on related agencies to quickly find a new vaccine to replace the existing one.

Soc Trang Province's Health Department has reported that the new-born baby of the woman who died of bird flu last month tested negative for the Avian Influenza Virus H5N1.

Meanwhile, Director of central Thanh Hoa Province's Department of Animal Health has decided to suspend work of Head of Trieu Son District's Animal Health Station Le Van Thu because the station was inattentive to bird flu prevention and control. — VNS

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