A/H5N1 avian flu spreads to 16 localities

Poultry infected with the A/H5N1 virus have been discovered in 16 provinces across the country since early this month, according to the Department of Animal Health.

The department says localities nationwide have been taking measures to prevent the epidemic from spreading further.

A public notice signed by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai was dispatched on February 20 requiring localities nationwide to take preventive measures to stem the spread of bird flu.

poultry vaccination in te northern border province of Lang Son (Photo:VNS)

Hai urged them to issue detailed local action plans that specify the responsibilities of local relevant units and individuals in dealing with the epidemic, based on the National Committee for Avian Flu Prevention's action plan against avian flu types that might infect humans.

Tran Hung, deputy head of the Animal Health Department in the central province of Ha Tinh, said they have sterilised affected areas, set up quarantine stations and checked poultry farms in order to detect and prevent any new outbreaks.

Local authorities have provided guidance on prevention and control measures to every household, he said.

Over 1,300 fowl in the province have tested positive for A/H5N1, and nearly 800 have been culled.

At a meeting held on February 19, Hua Ngoc Thuan, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, said the city has asked districts to shut down illegal poultry markets and increase inspections of quarantine stations at the city's gateways to prevent poultry from epidemic-hit localities from entering the city.

He said the city regularly inspects slaughter houses, trading areas and poultry farms, and takes samples for testing.

The People's Committee of the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau on February 20 ordered its health department and relevant agencies to increase food safety and hygiene supervision to prevent bird flu outbreaks.

The measures it has called for include setting up mobile inspection teams and preparing enough medicine and human resources to cope with A/H5N1 in humans in case of an outbreak.

The provincial animal health department has been asked to work with border guards, customs and police to tighten control over the transport of poultry and poultry products in border areas.

Authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh also held a meeting on February 20 to discuss measures to prevent the epidemic, focusing on tightening the management of poultry markets and slaughter houses.

Vietnam has recorded three deaths from the A/H5N1 virus so far this year. 

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