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Vietnam reports more bird flu outbreaks

by 5m Editor
19 January 2005, at 12:00am

VIETNAM - Vietnam has just detected outbreaks of bird flu in additional 22 communes, raising the total number ofcommunes hit by the disease to 160.

Vietnam reports more bird flu outbreaks - VIETNAM - Vietnam has just detected outbreaks of bird flu in additional 22 communes, raising the total number ofcommunes hit by the disease to 160.

Since Jan. 1, bird flu has affected 18 cities and provinces, mainly in the southern region, killing and leading to the forced culling of more than 296,000 poultry, local newspaper Youth on Wednesday quoted the country's Department of Health as saying.

The Hospital of Tropical Disease in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesdayreceived a suspected case of bird flu infection. The 35-year-old patient from southern An Giang province had high temperature, cough and damaged lungs after slaughtered sick chickens for meal, the newspaper said.

Vietnam detected a total of six human cases of bird flu infection between Dec. 26, 2004, and Jan. 18, 2005, five of whom died. The latest fatal case was a 35-year-old woman from Cang Longdistrict in southern Tra Vinh province. She had eaten dead chicken.

Now, the hospital is treating the only live confirmed case, an 18-year-old girl from southern Tien Giang province who is in critical condition. She needs respiratory assistance.

To cope with bird flu among poultry and people, Vietnamese localities nationwide are strengthening anti-bird flu activities such as culling all fowls in a flock if any dead or sick poultry is spotted in the flock, establishing more quarantine checkpoints along roads leading to the affected areas, and closely monitoring the slaughtering, trading and carrying of poultry, and temporarilyceasing the import of fowls and their eggs from neighboring countries.

The National Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute has already used bird flu vaccines produced by itself on mice on trial basis. It will do the same on monkeys in February for one month and a half and then on humans for two months.

"If the vaccines prove to be safe and effective, we will ask for permission of the Ministry of Health to mass produce them," Vietnam's leading virologist Hoang Thuy Nguyen said, noting that procedures for approval may be considered more quickly than usual due to recent fast spread of bird flu.

In late March 2004, Vietnam declared an end to the bird flu outbreak that started in December 2003 and killed or led to the forced culling of 17 percent of its poultry population or 43.2 million fowls.

To date, the disease has killed 25 people in the country.

Source: Xinhua News Agency - 19th January 2005

5m Editor