According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak in China is the fifth since the virus was first detected in 2013 and the largest so far.
Between October 2016 and February 19, 2017, 425 infections in human were reported, mostly in China’s Guangxi, Yunnan and Guangdong provinces close to Vietnam. The figure is rising.
At the same time, Cambodia’s Svey Rieng province, which borders Vietnam’s southern provinces of Long An and Tay Ninh, is also struggling with the virus.
Tran Dac Phu, head of the Protective Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, said no cases of influenza A virus subtypes H7N9, H5N8, H5N1 in humans had been found so far, but two nests of subtype H5N1 and H5N6 were detected the provinces of Bac Lieu, Nghe An and Nam Dinh.
Dam Xuan Thanh, Vice Director of the Department for Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Truc Ninh district in Nam Dinh province announced on February 20 the destruction of 4,600 ducks with A (H5N1) virus.
Meanwhile, the WHO reported that avian influenza A (H7N9) has become stronger after receiving China’s gene sequencing report on two human infections in Guangdong province.
Amidst the alarming situation, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued an urgent direction on the prevention and control of the epidemic, asking for the involvement of all the political system.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long requested the whole sector to prepare to tackle all epidemic scenarios, including those with no human infection cases, human infections without human to human transfers, infections with human transferal, and epidemic outbreak in the community.
Training courses will also be held for health officials, while treatment equipment will be prepared.
He added that the sector will establish a network of health care facilities capable of giving avian influenza virus treatment across the country, while strengthening communications to raise public awareness on protective measures against the virus.