With no new bird flu outbreak reported in the last 21 days, the fourth round of bird flu monitoring imposed in Thailand's two worst-hit provinces, Phichit and Nakhon Phanom, has been suspended, a senior official said Thursday.
Following the bird flu outbreaks in Phichit in the north and Nakhon Phanom in the Northeast from July through mid-August this year, the three-week fourth round of 21-day close vigilance for avian influenza was imposed in the two provinces on Aug. 23, said Charal Trinvutipong, Vice Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Since there have been no reports of new poultry infected with the deadly virus recently, Charal said, the provinces were removed from the list of the country's vulnerable areas under special monitoring for H5N1 virus.
Throughout the whole country, Charal said, the spread of bird flu among fowls has not been found for 32 days now.
As a result of integrated cooperation among all sectors, no additional bird flu cases have been reported, especially in Nakhon Phanom where more than 300,000 chickens were culled earlier when bird flu outbreaks were detected, he added.
"We discovered it (the disease) quickly, and destroyed it quickly, so we can control it now," he said.
Within this year, Charal said, the government has set the target that bird flu must not be found in more than 25 locations nationwide, not more than 10 locations next year, and there must be no bird flu outbreak in the kingdom at all in 2008.
With the rearrangement of poultry raising systems and other preventive measures, the vice minister said he was confident Thailand will be completely free of avian influenza in the next two years.
Since late 2003, Thailand has reported 16 bird flu deaths with only the two latest cases being reported this year, one in Phichit in July and another in Uthai Thani in August.