Vietnam raises border alert following Cambodia bird flu outbreak

By VnExpress   February 17, 2017 | 12:00 am GMT+7
Vietnam raises border alert following Cambodia bird flu outbreak
A health worker sprays fumes to contain the spread of bird flu virus in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Tri Tin

There’s a very high risk of the deadly virus spreading given the hot weather and busy border trade.

Authorities in the southern province of Tay Ninh are tightening control of the poultry trade on its border with Cambodia to prevent a recent outbreak of bird flu from spreading into the country.

The H5N1 virus has already killed a large number of birds in the Cambodian provinces of Svay Rieng and Prey Veng, which border Tay Ninh.

There’s a very high risk that the outbreak will spread to Vietnam given the hot weather and busy border trade, the provincial government said.

Nguyen Van May, the head of Tay Ninh’s animal health department said that border trade and travel could easily spread the virus. The most dangerous risk comes from wild birds flying from Cambodia, May told Doi Song & Phap Luat (Life and Law) newspaper.

The department has asked the provincial government for funds to vaccinate local poultry.

Cambodia declared a bird flu outbreak late last month after the virus was found in chickens in Svay Rieng. So far, 68 birds have died of the virus and 322 others have been destroyed, the Cambodian farm ministry said in a statement posted on the World Organization for Animal Health website.

Authorities in Nghe An Province in central Vietnam also destroyed nearly 500 ducks this month after 80 in the same flock fell sick and tested positive for H5N1.

Vietnam’s health and agriculture ministries issued warnings last month regarding the H7N9 virus strain that is raging in China.

H5N1 has killed 65 people in Vietnam, one of the highest fatality rates in the world, since it recurred in 2003. H7N9 is a rare strain first detected in China in March 2013.

Vietnam has reported no human infections of the virus strains in the past two years.

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