Viet Nam reports no new cases of bird flu, including in the southern provinces that were hit by the disease earlier this month, Bui Quang Anh, director of the Animal Health Department, said on Thursday.
When poultry farms in the south discovered dead chickens, central and local veterinarians worked to prevent an epidemic.
As the virus spread on a small scale, localities quickly isolated the infected zones, and then destroyed the sick fowl and disinfected the farms, the director said.
Anh reported the situation to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation on Wednesday. The department’s statistics showed that the virus hit six communes in six districts of three provinces, including Bac Lieu, Hau Giang and Tra Vinh and Can Tho City, between July 1 and 11.
It occurred because localities didn’t adopt good treatment measures to clear the virus from the environment and to disinfect their farms after the previous epidemics, said Anh. In addition, production resumed too quickly, and farmers did not use test groups after the outbreak was controlled.
With experience gained from the last outbreak, the Government, agriculture sector and localities have promptly carried out measures to extinguish the return of the bird flu, Anh said.
The department reported that the outbreak was spread through the transport of poultry without quarantines. Provinces in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta, south-east and HCM City set up quarantine check-points at local gates, immediately after receiving new reports of the bird flu. Mobile check-points were also established to prevent sick birds from regional transport. Any violations in transportation were punished, the department said.
Anh said veterinarians continue to closely watch the old infected zones to prevent the return of the outbreak. "Human resources have been mobilised to give local farmers immediate advice on how to keep their poultry safe and how to deal with and dispose of dead poultry," he said. "Imported breeds must come from clean sources."
Inspection teams are also patrolling the areas to ensure they adopt right measures, Anh added.
HCM City’s Nam Khoa Company, which specialises in molecular biology, mean-nhile completed its experimental production of testing kits to detect the H5N1 virus, which caused the bird flu epidemic ealier this year.
Dr Pham Hung Van, chief of the study group, said the kit is the most effective way to diagnose the virus without growing cultures. The kit, approved by the municipal Science, Technology and Environment Department, can detect H5N1 in five to seven hours.
Van said the kit is rather convenient and easy to use, as it requires no chemicals, and will detect the virus in a person or a bird. The Nam Khoa company is willing to supply its product to labs at VND150,000 per unit.
Van said his group is co-ordinating with the London Royal Holloway College to produce H5N1 quick-testing kits that are easier to use, even on the spot.
Since 1999, the Nam Khoa company has supplied thousands of tests to diagnose dengue fever, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and white-spotted disease in shrimp.
The Ha Noi Animal Health Department imported 1,000 testing kits to help local farmers detect the bird flu virus. The department’s director, Tran Manh Giang said 700 kits have been put into use in poultry farms in Dong Anh and Soc Son districts. "The results were negative," he said.
VNS - (19/07/2004)