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Bird flu scare strikes southern province

Update: February, 06/2013 - 10:57

HA NOI — Avian flu has broken out in the southwestern province of Tay Ninh, the Department of Animal Health said at a National Steering Committee meeting on avian flu prevention in Ha Noi yesterday.

Pham Van Dong, the department’s head, said avian flu was found to have started in two households, in Ben Cau District and Tay Ninh Town, in Tay Ninh Province.

Tay Ninh Province shares a border with Cambodia, where five Cambodian people were found to have contracted the disease since the beginning of the year, of which four died.

The four unlucky Cambodians were found to have touched birds with the H5N1 virus, which raised fears that avian flu might break out among humans in Viet Nam.

So far in Tay Ninh, over 3,400 birds have contracted the disease and died as a result.

In response to the situation, Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has advised the People’s Committees and State agencies to carry out inspections to detect bird flu, especially in provinces bordering Cambodia, and to deal with outbreaks and offer support to households involved.

Agencies, including border guards, Customs offices and police were also requested to co-operate with animal health departments in conducting inspections to prevent the illegal importing of poultry.

Localities were requested to organise inoculations for birds, destroy birds suspected of carrying the disease, use chemicals to decontaminate hot spots and isolate suspected cases to keep the lethal H5N1 virus from spreading.

According to the Department of Animal Health, last year avian flu hit 32 cities and provinces. More than 616,000 birds died or were destroyed, four time as many as in 2011. — VNS

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