Vietnam wary as China grapples with deadly bird flu outbreak

By VnExpress   February 18, 2017 | 05:30 pm GMT+7
Vietnam wary as China grapples with deadly bird flu outbreak
A quarantine researcher checks on a chicken at a poultry farm in Xiangyang, Hubei Province, China. Photo by Reuters

China has reported 340 human cases of the H7N9 virus while another dangerous strain is taking its toll in Cambodia.

Health officials have warned that there is a very high risk of the H7N9 bird flu virus spreading to Vietnam from China.

The Ministry of Health said the most vulnerable areas are those along the border with China where trade activities are concentrated.

Human infections with the avian influenza A H7N9 virus were first reported in China in March 2013.

The World Health Organization said that China has reported 340 human cases in 13 provinces and cities nationwide so far this year. Almost all these cases had a history of exposure to live poultry in markets or areas with infected birds.

This has been the fifth outbreak in China since 2013.

Meanwhile in Cambodia, the H5N1 virus has recently been found in poultry in Svay Rieng Province, near the Vietnamese province of Tay Ninh. So far, 68 birds have died of the virus in Cambodia and 322 others have been culled, according to official data.

Vietnam has not reported any human infections of the two virus strains over the past two years. The H5N1 virus is highly dangerous, causing 65 deaths in Vietnam between 2003 and 2014.

Health officials are urging the public to avoid consuming poultry with unknown origins and immediately seek help when they find sick or dead poultry.

Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, chest pain or breathing difficulty should also be taken seriously.

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