Vietnam is strengthening bird flu surveillance, planning poultry slaughter houses, and vaccinating fowls against the disease, local newspaper Saigon Liberation Wednesday quoted top local veterinary official as saying.
"The Veterinary Department will send all of its forces to poultry-raising centers in the Mekong Delta and the Red River Delta, offering anti-bird flu guidelines to farmers," the department's head Bui Quang Anh said, adding that more veterinary cadres will go to border areas to deal with illegal transport of animals.
Vietnam will cull all infected waterfowls raised in large scale, and isolate areas having sick poultry bred in a small scale to prevent bird flu spread, he said, noting that 10 million out of 40 million waterfowls in Vietnam, mainly ducks, face high risk of being infected with bird flu viruses, including the H5N1 strain.
In a longer term, the country will raise poultry according to three modes, namely industrial scale, semi-industrial scale and household scale with a focus on the semi-industrial scale. Sixteen cities and provinces nationwide, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, must complete construction of concentrated slaughterhouses before 2007, while poultry must be transported by specialized vehicles, Anh said.
Vietnam will start vaccinating fowls against bird flu viruses in northern Nam Dinh province and southern Tien Giang province on a trial basis in early August, and then do the same in the two deltas in September, he said, noting that the vaccination will be conducted on poultry raised in cages.
Late last month, the Health Ministry confirmed that a total of 60 local people from the country's 23 localities had been infected with H5N1 since late December 2004, of whom 18 died.
Since the first bird flu patient was detected in Vietnam in late 2003, the country had detected 87 human cases of infections, including 38 fatalities, in 31 cities and provinces, the ministry said in late June.