The Vietnamese agriculture ministry has banned the transport of poultry over borders with China in an effort to stop the spread of a new bird flu strain that has killed two people in the neighboring country recently.
In an emergency letter to related agencies on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat asked them to tighten controls to detect and quarantine poultry with unclear origins transported across the border.
That same day, the Ministry of Health also announced that it was looking for acute respiratory diseases possibly related to the avian influenza strain H7N9.
At a meeting also on Tuesday, Pham Van Dong, chief of the ministry's Animal Health Department, expressed his concerns over the likelihood that the strain would spread from China to Vietnam.
He said agencies in the northern provinces of Lang Son and Quang Ninh, which border China, have confiscated over 1.3 tons of chickens smuggled from that country into Vietnam.
He also noted that there is yet a vaccine for poultry against H7N9.
Previously unknown in humans, the virus was first recorded in a woman in Anghui Province, China in early March, Reuters reported.
So far it has infected seven people in that country, accounting for two deaths.
According to the World Health Organization, there has been no evidence yet that the virus can be transmitted between people.
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