New Bird Flu Outbreaks Across Viet Nam09 December 2010
VIET NAM - As poultry flocks across the country are reportedly infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), people with flu symptoms are being urged to see medical advice.
Bird flu has infected flocks in southern Ca Mau and northern Nam Dinh and central Nghe An provinces, according to Viet Nam News.
"We face a high risk of a human epidemic although no new infections of A/H5N1 has been reported since March," warned National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology director, Associate Professor Nguyen Tran Hien.
The major reasons for the threat were the rise in demand for the sale, transport and slaughter of poultry as Tet, the Lunar New Year, nears and cold weather that created conditions for the virus grow and spread to humans, he said.
Figures from the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry's Animal Health Department show that about 16 per cent of the country's poultry has been infected with the bird flu virus this year, about four times higher than average.
Many people had been admitted to hospital with flu symptoms but it was difficult to identify the difference between flu and birdflu, said National Tropical Diseases Hospital director Nguyen Hong Ha.
Family members should tell physicians and nurses if the patient had been exposed to birds infected with the A/H5N1 virus, he said.
Such history was a major key to identifying the infection.
At least seven A/H5N1virus infections have been identified among humans since early this year with two deaths – in southern Tien Giang and Binh Duong Provinces.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry wants people to notify the proper agencies instead of slaughtering and eating birds that are ill or died of unknown causes.
People with any symptoms of bird flu – cough, fever or breathlessness – should report to their nearest health clinic.
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