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Centres to tackle threat of flu virus

Update: March, 07/2015 - 09:02
HA NOI (VNS)  — A national system to monitor influenza has been set up by the Ministry of Health (MoH) together with two nfluenza centres in Ha Noi and HCM City.

The moves follow a recent warning by the World Health Organisation (WHO) over dangerous changes in the flu virus, said the General Department of Preventive Medicine on Thursday.

Both centres, based at the Ha Noi-based National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and HCM City Pasteur Institute, are capable of running tests on all avian flu strains. A plan on disease prevention has been prepared by the Ministry of Health to prepare for any flu epidemics.

Earlier this week, WHO issued a statement calling for a close watch on the worldwide avian-flu epidemic and the potential for new virus strains to appear.

Meanwhile, recent tests on birds and humans for the latest fatal bird flu strain A (H7N9) conducted by the MoH, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and international organisations indicate that the virus strain has not reached Viet Nam.

This particular virus was first detected in March, 2013, in China, where it killed at least 122 people and infected a total of 458.

Although no people have been infected with the avian flu strain A (H5N1) since the beginning of the year, an outbreak in birds was reported in the southern province of Soc Trang's Dai Hai Commune last month. Last year, two people died of the H5N1 bird flu virus in Binh Phuoc and Dong Thap provinces, raising the death toll to 64 people since it first appeared in Viet Nam in December, 2013. — VNS

A warning against seasonal flu, including the avian flu strain A (H1N1) and A (H3N2), was Issued by the General Department of Preventive Medicine yesterday.

Seasonal flu is an acute infectious disease caused by the influenza strain A (H3N2), A (H1N1), strain B or C. It peaks in winter and spring.

Reports show that the strain A(H3) is the dominant type with 77.8 per cent recorded among the flu infected in the first two months of 2015. This is followed by the virus strain A(H1N1) and strain B, which accounted for 11.1 per cent each. — VNS

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