|Vaccination against avian influenza is being used in countries like Viet Nam to slow the spread of bird flu disease. — VNA/VNS Hai Yen
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has warned of a possible outbreak of avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, caused by complicated weather patterns.
The warning was made at a meeting of the national steering committee for cattle and poultry epidemic prevention, held in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
Vu Van Tam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the blue-ear pig disease had reappeared after 26 months, along with the return of H5N6 avian flu and the high-risk spread of the H7N9 virus from China, so localities shouldn't neglect disease prevention initiatives, especially in border provinces.
Tam has ordered local authorities nation-wide to roll out precautionary measures against the spread of the disease as the Lunar New Year approaches.
He has asked the People's Committees of cities and provinces to instruct their agricultural and rural development authorities to tighten supervision for early discovery of all bird flu outbreaks and to handle any new outbreaks promptly.
Pham Van Dong, head of the Department of Animal Health under MARD, said last year the number of bird flu hotbeds and the amount of dead poultry, including those forced to be culled, had dropped remarkably compared with the year 2014.
Dong said the disease primarily occurred in poultry birds that hadn't been vaccinated and were being raised in households.
Statistics from the Animal Health Department showed that 27 foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks were reported in cattle from the provinces of Ha Tinh, Lang Son, Son La and Dac Lac, as well as Cao Bang and Bac Giang, as of Wednesday.
As many as five H5N6 avian flu outbreaks were recorded in the provinces of Quang Ngai, Kon Tum, Tuyen Quang and Lang Son, over the last 21 days, with a total of 3,540 poultry infected and 6,720 culled. — VNS