Vietnam to monitor foreign entrants amid bird flu risks

By Le Nga   March 1, 2023 | 03:27 pm PT
Vietnam to monitor foreign entrants amid bird flu risks
A person holds a test tube labelled "Bird Flu", in this picture illustration, January 14, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Dado Ruvic
The Health Ministry on Wednesday requested localities to closely monitor foreign entrants amid the risk of H5N1 avian flu outbreaks entering Vietnam.

The ministry said that as Vietnam and other countries’ commercial activities expand, the risk of avian flu entering the country and infecting people is high.

Current weather conditions are optimal for avian flu viruses to thrive, and the fact that several festivals are being held after the Lunar New Year in late January means the transportation and sales of poultry may increase, leading to more infection risks, the ministry added.

As such, the ministry has requested localities to closely monitor entrants to detect suspected infections, with extra caution for those who butcher and trade poultry, as well as those coming from areas with outbreaks. Cases of suspected infections would have their samples taken for testing.

The WHO on Feb. 24 called for all countries to be vigilant amid rising number of avian flu cases in humans. Cambodia, which borders Vietnam, has already confirmed two cases of H5N1 infections, of whom one has died.

Vietnam recorded its first human case of A/H5N1 avian flu in eight years in October 2022, a five-year-old girl in the northern Phu Tho Province who had consumed meat from sick chickens and ducks a week before falling sick. She recovered after treatment.

A new strain of H5N1, clade, emerged in 2020 and has been causing record numbers of deaths among wild birds and domestic poultry in recent months, and has also infected mammals, Reuters reported.

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