Vietnam Keeping Watchful Eye on Bird Flu

HANOI, VIETNAM - The Vietnamese government has instructed ministries, sectors and localities nationwide to prevent potential bird flu outbreaks among people and contain current outbreaks among poultry, according to local newspaper People on Friday.
calendar icon 14 March 2008
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Under an instruction made by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on March 13, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is in charge of coordinating with the Ministry of Health to keep close surveillance on bird flu among fowls, and factors relating to bird flu patients.

The prime minister tasked the Ministry of Health to provide specific guidelines on bird flu prevention and treatment, and coordinate with localities to early detect and timely cure human cases of bird flu infections, and ensure sufficient provision of medicines, chemicals and equipment in preparedness for potential outbreaks.

The Ministry of Information and Communications should, in coordination with the health and agriculture ministries, timely disseminate information about bird flu situations and ways of preventing and combating the disease. Local residents are advised not to use dead or sick fowls or those with unclear origins.

The prime minister also required bird flu-hit localities to rapidly contain the disease, disinfect and detoxificate affected areas, speed up bird flu vaccination among fowls, and strengthen management and inspection of poultry movement, especially at border areas.

To date, Vietnam has confirmed a total of 105 human cases of bird flu infections, including 51 fatalities, in 35 cities and provinces since bird flu started to hit the country in December 2003.

Vietnam currently has 9 localities having poultry being hit by bird flu: Quang Ninh, Ninh Binh, Phu Tho, Ha Nam, Tuyen Quang and Hanoi in the northern region, central QuangTri province, and Soc Trang and Vinh Long in the southern region, the country's Department of Animal Health said on March 13.

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