Viet Nam Pushes up Fight against Bird Flu Recurrence

Viet Nam is pushing up fight against bird flu recurrence when the epidemic and type A (H5N1) flu become serious in Asia, leaving the country at a red alert.

Chickens are vaccinated against bird flu virus strain H5N1.

Viet Nam has successfully controlled bird flu for nearly eight months. The last case was reported in the northern mountain province of Cao Bang on December 2005.

However, strengthening public education remains a pivotal measure to maintain the country’s success in controlling avian flu, health and agriculture officials agreed at a meeting in Ha Noi on August 1.

The meeting, held by the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Control, aimed at discussing measures to prevent avian flu returning to Viet Nam, particularly after the neighboring countries of Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and China have all reported new outbreaks.

Deputy Minister of the Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Bui Ba Bong suggested that the Government must promptly instruct agencies at all levels to organize necessary bird flu prevention activities and measures, in a bid to cope with the recurrence of H5N1 flu epidemic.

In 2005, Viet Nam was highly praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) on its experience and achievements in containing the pandemic.

High risk of bird flu outbreaks

On July 30, a hospital in the southern province of Kien Giang received a 35-year-old patient who was thought to have contracted A-H5N1 flu.

His free-ranging duck flock had died of unknown causes but the patient still ate dead ducks instead of culling them.

The result of his sample test showed negative. However, at present, the patient is still in critical condition and needs the support of respiratory machine.

Besides, two flocks of ducks in southeastern Tay Ninh have died and necessary tests are being carried out to uncover the cause. Quick tests on storks in Suoi Tien, Ho Chi Minh City, were positive to type-A flu.

By M.Th – Translated by Trong Khuong

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