Animal health agency warns of possible new bird flu outbreaks

The Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned of a high risk of the return of avian influenza in Vietnam after the epidemic was put under control for a long period of time.

The department said one hotbed of A/H5N6 bird flu virus had been reported recently in Dai Ban commune of An Duong district, northern Hai Phong city.

It noted some avian flu strains that haven’t been reported in Vietnam such as A/H7N9, A/H5N2 and A/H5N8 may enter the country through the transportation, trading and consumption of poultry and poultry products with obscure origin, especially in northern border provinces and the localities consuming smuggled poultry products.

The department urged localities to take the initiative in bird flu prevention, crack down on poultry smuggling, and keep a close watch on local situation in order to timely respond to any outbreak.

Meanwhile, foot-and-mouth and blue-ear diseases are also likely to break out among livestock that are unvaccinated or transported to former hotbeds.

The animal health agency called on vulnerable localities to augment monitoring, vaccination and control of livestock transportation and slaughtering to minimize risks of disease outbreak and spread.

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