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Health ministry rallies efforts to fight bird flu

Update: February, 23/2012 - 10:33


Disinfectant chemicals are sprayed over a poultry farm in Tram Long Commune, Ung Hoa District, Ha Noi. Outbreaks of bird flu have occurred in 12 provinces nationwide. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI — All administration levels will be mobilised to prevent epidemics, particularly avian flu and hand-foot-mouth disease, as cases have multiplied.

The task was laid out by the health ministry yesterday when it announced measures to curb avian flu and other diseases following the prime ministerial instruction released on Monday.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the ministry would focus on strengthening public awareness, advising people to avoid sick and dead poultry and to maintain good hygiene.

"The development of diseases would be monitored closely nation-wide, including bird flu H5N1, hand-foot-mouth (HFM) and Neisseria meningitides," said Long.

The system will oversee cases of infection in order to handle disease outbreak and treatment for patients.

The ministry has also set up 12 working teams to inspect standards and boost disease prevention at all known locations of bird flu and HFM in the country.

Head of the Animal Health Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Van Dang Ky said that recent surveys showed a high rate of bird flu H5N1 virus in Vietnamese poultry, at 4.13 per cent compared with 1.6 per cent last year.

"The high rate of bird flu in poultry would be a hidden risk for the spread of the disease, especially in the southern provinces," stressed Ky.

The department reported that outbreaks of bird flu had occurred in 12 provinces nation-wide as of yesterday.

Two people have already died of the H5N1 virus this year.

HFM disease killed 9 children and struck 6,300 people in the first six weeks of 2012. — VNS

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