Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Department of Preventive Health under the Ministry of Health, stated on March 9 that Vietnam had recorded four cases of bird flu since the beginning of this year, two of which had succumbed to the disease.
Although the Ministry of Health has continually warned the public not to consume sick, dead or undercooked poultry or water fowl, people have paid little or no heed to the warning.
Binh warns that with the disease developing a more complicated strain, if awareness about the deadly effects of the virus is not raised, the number of patients dying or infected by bird flu will increase, as the disease is becoming more widespread.
In order to prevent bird flu from transferring from fowl to humans, the ministry has ordered its medical units to step up supervision to detect infected cases early. In addition, it emphasised raising awareness amongst people not to consume poultry or water fowl that was suspect, infected or undercooked.
In related news, the Preventive Health Centre in Lai Chau Province said that three people in Khoen On Commune in Than Uyen District were reported infected with anthrax in the last month. The infected are believed to have eaten meat of a dead horse in their village.