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Vietnam Fears Large-Scale Bird Flu Outbreak

Vietnam is at a high risk of a large-scale outbreak of bird flu without drastic preventive measures in the near future, the country’s Department of Animal Health has warned.

Bird flu has been reported in four communes in three provinces of Quang Tri, Thanh Hoa and Soc Trang over the past month, affecting nearly 1,700 poultry and forcing the killing of more than 4,000 domestic fowls, said the department’s deputy head Pham Van Dong at a meeting of the Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control.

A number of poultry suspected of catching the disease have started to appear in other localities such as Nghe An, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang, Ha Noi and Thai Nguyen. The outbreak has also resulted in two human deaths in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta’s Soc Trang and Kien Giang Provinces.

The Health Ministry warned of a possible large-scale outbreak of bird flu if the three affected provinces could not keep the disease under control while unfavourable weather conditions, transport and slaughtering of poultry posed a high risk.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urged localities to immediately vaccinate poultry, increase supervision and tighten management of farms, businesses, markets and slaughtering houses.
Minister Cao Duc Phat ordered cities and provinces across the country to take urgent measures to prevent a resurgence of bird flu.

A mutation of the H5N1 virus has been discovered in the northern region and existing vaccines do not offer protection against the mutant strain, Hoang Van Nam, head of the Animal Health Department, warned. The ministry has called on related agencies to quickly find a new vaccine to replace the existing one.

…(World Poultry)

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February 10, 2012 Posted by | Animals, Health Warning | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nepal to Cull Thousands of Chickens Following Discovery of H151

Health workers in Nepal are to cull thousands of chickens following the discovery of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in the southeastern part of the Himalayan country.

“We sent samples for investigation to London after chickens started to die of a mysterious disease in commercial poultry farms,” said Ram Krishna Khatiwada, of the government’s Directorate of Animal Health. “We have received the test reports today that confirms infection of bird flu in poultry farms in Khanar and Ithari of the Sunsari district.”

Bird flu has also been confirmed in the eastern hills of Panchathar district and the tea-producing area of Ilam, Katiwada told AFP, adding that surveillance of farms was to be stepped up and 4000 chickens would be killed in the affected areas. “There has not been infection to humans in the area so far.

“Some have complained of itching and vomiting but that is only panic. We will get the situation under control in one or two days.”

Nepal’s first reported outbreak of bird flu in poultry was in January 2009 in the eastern part of the country.

The virus reached the capital Kathmandu for the first time in December last year, with health workers culling hundreds of chickens and ducks.

If it spreads to humans, bird flu can cause fever, cough, sore throat, pneumonia, respiratory disease and sometimes death.

…(News)

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Health Warning | , , , , | Leave a comment

Swine Flu Outbreak Kills 29, Infects Nearly 1,500 in Mexico

An ongoing swine flu outbreak in Mexico has left at least 29 people dead and nearly 1,500 others infected, health officials confirmed on Saturday. Thousands more are also ill as the country faces several types of flu this season.

Since the start of the ongoing winter season, at least 7,069 people have reported suffering from symptoms similar to those of swine flu. Lab tests are still underway and have so far confirmed 1,456 cases of the disease, which is officially known as A/H1N1.

According to Mexico’s Health Ministry, at least 29 people have died of swine flu so far this season. While no health emergency has been declared, officials expect the death toll will rise in the coming weeks as Mexico also faces A/H3N2 and B influenza.

The H1N1 influenza virus emerged in the Mexican state of Veracruz in April 2009 and quickly spread around the world, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global flu pandemic in June 2009. At least 18,000 people have died of the disease since, although the actual number is believed to be far higher.

In August 2010, the WHO declared that the swine flu pandemic was over. “In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza,” the WHO said at the time. “It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus.”

…(BNO News)

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Health Warning, Outbreak | , , , , , | Leave a comment