Vietnam is at a high risk of a large-scale outbreak of bird flu without drastic preventive measures in the near future, the country's Department of Animal Health has warned.
Bird flu has been reported in four communes in three provinces of Quang Tri, Thanh Hoa and Soc Trang over the past month, affecting nearly 1,700 poultry and forcing the killing of more than 4,000 domestic fowls, said the department’s deputy head Pham Van Dong at a meeting of the Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control.
A number of poultry suspected of catching the disease have started to appear in other localities such as Nghe An, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang, Ha Noi and Thai Nguyen. The outbreak has also resulted in two human deaths in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta’s Soc Trang and Kien Giang Provinces.
The Health Ministry warned of a possible large-scale outbreak of bird flu if the three affected provinces could not keep the disease under control while unfavourable weather conditions, transport and slaughtering of poultry posed a high risk.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urged localities to immediately vaccinate poultry, increase supervision and tighten management of farms, businesses, markets and slaughtering houses.
Minister Cao Duc Phat ordered cities and provinces across the country to take urgent measures to prevent a resurgence of bird flu.
A mutation of the H5N1 virus has been discovered in the northern region and existing vaccines do not offer protection against the mutant strain, Hoang Van Nam, head of the Animal Health Department, warned. The ministry has called on related agencies to quickly find a new vaccine to replace the existing one.
Source: Nam News Network