Bac Lieu outbreaks halted
HCM CITY — Two recent
bird flu outbreaks in the southernmost provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu have
been brought under control, but the risk of new outbreaks are still high,
according to local authorities.
Chau Thi Kim Tuyen, deputy
head of Ca Mau Province’s Animal Health Department, said on Wednesday that
after the new outbreak occurred on December 6, the province’s veterinarians
destroyed infected poultry and sprayed disinfectants in vulnerable areas.
"Infected poultry in
previous outbreaks were all destroyed, but a new outbreak still occurred
here," said Pham Van Nhan, secretary of Vinh Binh Commune’s Party
Bac Lieu Province’s
People’s Committee on Wednesday ordered local authorities to set up
checkpoints to ban the transport of poultry out of bird – flu affected areas
and to complete vaccinations for domestic fowl.
The committee told
residents to contact authorities if they find dead poultry and not to throw any
dead birds into the river or on rice fields.
In August during flood
season, local media warned that the risk of bird flu reappearing in the region
was very high because local authorities were unable to control free-range duck
flocks in rice fields.
"The habit of feeding
ducks in rice fields contributes to the spread of bird flu," said Ngo Chi
Dung, head of Ca Mau Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural
Farmer Luu Van Bich, in Ca
Mau Province’s Khanh Hung Commune said several of his 850 ducks died this
month. "After the ducks died, I left the rest of the flock in the rice
fields because I was afraid of getting infected," Bich said.
Farmers in Khanh Hung
Commune currently raise 20,000 domestic fowl, most of them are ducks.
"To prevent further
outbreaks, Ca Mau Province will destroy all sick poultry, then take blood
samples to test for the H5N1 virus," Dung said. "Local farmers not
willing to destroy sick poultry will be forced to destroy them."
Ca Mau Provinces have
mobilised all of its veterinarians, army forces and youth to help local
residents stamp out the outbreak.
Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat has instructed authorities to thoroughly
prepare for new bird flu outbreaks.
Under the instructions,
local authorities and veterinarians have been asked to step up surveillance so
that cases can be identified as early as possible.
Local authorities will
bear the responsibility for any late detection of outbreaks and vaccinations of
The Ministry of Health
(MoH) has also ordered all provinces and cities nationwide, particularly Bac
Lieu and Ca Mau provinces, to boost preventive measures to prevent and control a
bird flu epidemic.
The MoH has required
health departments at grassroot levels to keep a close eye on any suspected
cases of bird flu and to provide prompt treatment to those that may be infcted.
been asked to disseminate information on the prevention and control of bird flu,
and urge residents to have check-ups at health centres when they show any sign
of a bird flu infection, such as an unusually high fever. — VNS