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Viet Nam still at risk of bird flu crisis

Update: April, 24/2013 - 08:50

Ha Noi's National Hospital for Tropical Diseases

 

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam had not recorded a case of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus among humans or animals so far, said Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long yesterday.

However, there was still high risk for the epidemic to enter the country, he said at a workshop of the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control in Ha Noi yesterday.

Deputy head of the ministry's department of preventive medicine Tran Dac Phu stressed the potential for the disease to spread into Viet Nam was high, saying that influenza A(H7N9) had a genetic origin from the bird flu virus and it was found in pigeon samples in China.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam had a long border line with China, making it hard for authorities to keep control over poultry smuggling, he added.

However, Viet Nam was fully prepared to respond to the epidemic in case of outbreak, Long said.

In response to increasing the number of cases of human infection with H7N9 virus in China, the health sector would continue to step up controls at border areas while patients with acute respiratory symptoms would be monitored closely and samples would be sent to laboratories, Long said.

The health sector would co-operate with the agricultural and rural development sector to tighten supervision over the circulation of avian influenza A(H7N9) and A(H5N1) on domestic fowls and to take preventive measures.

Reports from six key provinces and cities, including Ha Noi, HCM City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Lao Cai and Lang Son, said more than 35,100 people had entered the country from China and no suspected cases of human infection with A(H7N9) were recorded.

H7N9 virus has claimed 21 lives among 104 infected cases in China, according to the World Health Organisation .

A 12-year old girl in intensive care died of influenza A(H1N1) virus yesterday at Ha Noi's National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, according to the hospital director Nguyen Hong Ha.

This brings the total number of A(H1N1)virus-caused death to three this year. The first two cases were in northern Yen Bai Province.

The latest victim was from central Thanh Hoa Province. She was rushed to hospital with symptoms of severe respiratory problems. Test results showed she had the influenza A(H1N1) virus.

Her symptoms began a week ago when she was weakened by a fever, coughing and breathing problems. She was first taken to a provincial hospital and then to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. — VNS


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