Ministry urges enhanced prevention of avian influenza

Vietnamese Ministry of Health urged enhanced prevention of avian influenza following the disease outbreaks in Cambodia.

Ministry urges enhanced prevention of avian influenza

Facing the complicated development of the avian influenza epidemic in localities in Cambodia bordering the southwest border of Vietnam, the Ministry of Health today sent an official dispatch to people's committees of provinces and cities on strengthened prevention of avian influenza transmission to humans.

To proactively prevent bird flu from spreading into Vietnam and infecting humans, the Ministry of Health recommended that localities strengthen strict supervision of travelers and immigrants into the country for early detection of suspected cases of the disease, especially those who slaughter, trade poultry and live poultry products, and people with a history of coming from areas with epidemics including epidemics in poultry and humans.

Furthermore, health workers should take samples and send them to the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology or the Pasteur Institute for timely tests as well as isolation to prevent the disease from spreading to the community.

The health sector in cities and provinces should strengthen surveillance of cases of acute respiratory infections, severe viral pneumonia syndrome and influenza syndrome to promptly detect cases of influenza A/H5N1

The Ministry of Health also proposed that provincial and municipal authorities liaise with health agencies and veterinary agencies closely with the aim to monitor and detect influenza epidemics in poultry, especially at border gates and live poultry markets in addition to prompt information sharing to thoroughly handle outbreaks.

Last but not least, local administrations should increase communications on measures to prevent transmission of bird flu to humans in areas with sick and dead poultry and high-risk areas. Drugs, medical supplies, and chemicals must be prepared enough to support localities in implementing measures to handle outbreaks.

According to the Ministry of Health, the Cambodian Ministry of Health has recorded 22 additional cases of people infected with influenza A/H5N1 in Kampot Province from November 23 until now. So far, from the beginning of 2023 until now, Cambodia has recorded 6 cases of influenza A/H5N1 infection, including three deaths.

Along with that, the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that currently in the country, poultry flu epidemics still occur in different localities. Additionally, weather is currently changing posing unprecedented threats to human health that are conducive to the development of avian influenza virus.

At the same time, people are tending to increase poultry herds to prepare for the upcoming Lunar New Year in 2024, so poultry transportation and trading activities may increase, always posing a potential risk of bird flu virus infection in humans.

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