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Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

H5N1 bird flu reported in 21 Vietnam provinces as H7N9 bird flu knocks on the door

The most recent number of Vietnamese provinces and cities affected by the current H5N1 bird flu outbreak is now 21, according to a Bernama report today.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

To date, some 64,000 birds have been culled due to the spreading outbreak.

The outbreak is being attributed to the complicated weather in the first two months of the year, and the increase in shipping and trading of poultry during the recently-ended Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

“If localities fail to intensify scrutiny and take swift measures, bird flu could develop into an epidemic,” warned the department’s deputy head Dam Xuan Thanh.

As Vietnam continues their battle with the H5N1 bird flu outbreak, another concern has arrived at their doorstep–H7N9 avian influenza.

In a Nature news report today, author Declan Butler notes that H7N9 avian flu (human and bird) has been reported in southern China’s Guangxi province prompting Vietnam to go on “high alert”.

Butler quotes Peter Horby, a researcher at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Hanoi as saying, “There is a very high likelihood of H7N9 entering the poultry sector in Vietnam.”

The country does have preparedness plans in place for such an occurrence, which include banning the importation of poultry from China and twice-weekly monitoring for H7N9 in markets in the north of the country including weekly disinfection.

This negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) captured some of the ultrastructural details exhibited by the new influenza A (H7N9) virus. Image/Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Thomas Rowe

This negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) captured some of the ultrastructural details exhibited by the new influenza A (H7N9) virus.
Image/Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Thomas Rowe

At the same time, Vietnam has concerns over equipment problems that may hinder monitoring.

Thanh Nien News is reporting that nine of the 28 thermometers at border gates across the country used for anti-bird flu work are currently out of order.

Takeshi Kasai, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Vietnam, said H7N9 can enter Vietnam via smuggled poultry or humans.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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