Vietnam Fighting Bird Flu with Full Force

Hanoi, Nov 5 (Prensa Latina) The Vietnamese government warned Saturday it is essential that preventive health regulations be observed to avoid an H5N1 viral epidemic (Avian Flu) in the nation.

Although no sign of the virus has appeared in any of the blood samples tested by the Vietnamese epidemiology center, the authorities are urging all people concerned to take strict measures. The Vietnamese government dictated six measures for the entire healthcare system, hospitals, the Agriculture Ministry, provincial governments and the population in general to be prepared to face a possible outbreak of the virus in humans.

Since the disease appeared at the end of 2003, Vietnam had to sacrifice 50 million poultry and 41 people have died.

Health authorities called for the entire health system to prepare for any eventuality and to keep reserves of anti-viral medications.

The government ordered monitoring of all suspicious patients and prepared action guides should such a patient appear, with rooms to isolate patients and supplies of equipment and necessary medication.

Since birds are the main source of this dangerous virus, a major point is to avoid propagation of the illness among them, so vaccinations, extra farm hygiene and restriction of transport of unexamined live animals to cities, is in order.

The National Committee for Prevention of Avian Flu and the Committee for Prevention of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome will supervise implementation of the measures.