|Localities where the virus was found have been ordered to sterilise poultry farms and destroy infected poultry to prevent the spread.— VNA Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat has sent an urgent message calling for localities nationwide to take drastic measures to prevent the spread of A/H5N6 bird flu virus.
The move follows the spread of the virus to five localities during the past month. The virus was detected for the first time in the country in central Ha Tinh, and northern Lang Son and Lao Cai provinces in mid-August. It was then found in the central provinces of Quang Ngai and Quang Tri two weeks later.
The virus has infected more than 2,000 birds, including chickens, ducks and pheasants, and has led to the culling of nearly 5,200 poultry.
Phat said recent investigations revealed that some areas found to be infected with the A/H5N6 virus were involved in the transport and sale of poultry from unidentified sources.
The spread has resulted in authorised agencies in the northern border provinces of Quang Ninh and Lang Son cracking down on border poultry and egg smuggling cases during the past months.
He stressed there was a high risk that new strains of the bird flu virus would enter the country in smuggled poultry products through northern border provinces.
Phat, who is also the Head of the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control, urged localities to urgently establish inspection teams and check points to prevent smuggling and punish lawbreakers.
Localities where the virus was found have been ordered to sterilise poultry farms and destroy infected poultry to prevent the spread.
The A/H5N6 virus showed a 99 per cent similarity to the bird flu virus that killed a man in China's Sichuan province in April, 2014. It has also been detected in poultry in Laos, Germany, Sweden and the US.
The virus is a highly pathogenic strain, but there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission yet, according to the World Health Organisation. — VNS