|A farmer sprays chemicals to prevent the spread of bird flu at a farm in Châu Thới Commune in Bạc Liêu Province’s Vĩnh Lợi District. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thanh Liêm|
HÀ NỘI — Although no H7N9 avian flu infections have been reported in poultry or humans yet, the likelihood of outbreaks in Việt Nam is high, senior officials said on Tuesday.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vũ Văn Tám said "the country needs utmost vigilance toward detecting and preventing the disease". He suggested the nation monitor illegal poultry sales and transportation while working toward thorough disinfection.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) sent an urgent dispatch to the People’s Committee of cities and provinces ordering to spray disinfectants this month starting Wednesday, he said.
Accordingly, chemicals will be sprayed in residential areas, farms, poultry markets and slaughterhouses.
According to the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, about 425 infection cases of A/H7N9 has been detected in China since October 16, mostly in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, which border Việt Nam. About 40 per cent of the infected cases have died.
The influenza A/H7N9 is derived from poultry, but the animals give no signs and symptoms. The disease usually increases in the Spring and relating to the transport, trade and consumption of poultry.
The Department of Animal Health under the MARD said no case of A/H7N9 bird flu has been reported in the country. However, three hotbed of A/H5N1 has been recorded in Bạc Liêu and Nghệ An provinces since the beginning of this year.
Although disease control has been implementing in the country, localities, especially border provinces between China and Việt Nam, should monitor the transportation of poultry via border crossing, experts said.
"As the avian influenza viruses A/H7N9 is spreading in China, it is highly likely the virus will enter Việt Nam through illegal imported poultry if it isn’t tightly controlled", said Trần Duy Khanh, deputy chairman of the Animal Husbandry Association of Việt Nam.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường said the MARD would coordinate with competent agencies to prohibit Chinese poultry illegal imports.
"All violations relating to illegal sales and transportation of fowl smuggling will be detected and strictly punished", he said. — VNS