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Ha Nam detects H5N6 avian flu strain

Update: May, 05/2015 - 16:05
A veterinarian vaccinates poultry birds against the A/H5N6 virus. — Photo

HA NAM (VNS) — The preventive healthcare department of the health ministry has confirmed that avian flu strain A/H5N6 has been detected in Ha Nam Province's Kim Bang district.

Deputy Chief of the veterinary department Dam Xuan Thanh said genetic sequencing showed the virus was 99 per cent similar to the A/H5N6 strain reported in China's Sichuan Province last year.

Earlier last month, the central Nghe An province also detected a viral strain in a flock of chicken in Quy Hop district's Nghia Xuan commune.

Following the incident, the provincial animal health department vaccinated about 8,700 poultry birds against the A/H5N6 virus in the commune.

The veterinary department said the clinical symptoms of the A/H5N6 strain were similar to those of the H5N1 strain.

The World Health Organisation has said the A/H5N6 strain is a highly pathogenic strain, but there's no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, despite occasional instances of apparent infection between family members.

However, the development of the new strain needs to be put under the microscope to nip in the bud a possible avian flu outbreak in poultry.

The health ministry has urged provincial and municipal People's Committees and the departments for agriculture and rural development to intensify inspection of poultry smuggling, and strictly control the import and transport of poultry to effectively prevent any A/H5N6 infection among humans.

The local authorities have also boosted awareness programmes in the affected areas to prevent the bird flu pathogen from being transmitted to humans. — VNS

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