Vietnam wary of H7N9 bird flu outbreak in southern China

By Thu Hang - Do Truong, Thanh Nien News

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Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport launched temperature screening following an outbreak of H7N9 in China in 2013. File photo Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport launched temperature screening following an outbreak of H7N9 in China in 2013. File photo

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An influenza A (H7N9) outbreak that killed three people and infecting many others in China is spreading southwards to the border with Vietnam, Vietnamese health authorities warned Wednesday.
“The influenza A (H7N9) infection in China has not been controled and may spread [further],” Tran Dac Phu, director of the Preventive Health Department, said.
Phu cited a WHO statistics as saying that the flu infected 16 people in China, including three fatalities, in the first week of January.
“Notably, later infected cases have been found further in southern China near the border with Vietnam,” he said.
According to WHO, influenza A (H7N9) has infected 486 people, including 185 fatal, since the first outbreak in 2013. Infected cases have been recorded in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
But according to another report502 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Chinese health authorities since the beginning of this year.
Vietnam has recorded no case of the strain.
Besides H7N9, Phu also warned about threats of other influenza A virus strains, including H5N1 and H5N6.
At the conference, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long recommended relevant agencies to step up inspection of smuggled ducks and chicken.
“People should not eat raw blood pudding and meat of sick birds,” he said.
In related news, the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City has coordinated with Binh Duong Health Department to offer free vaccination against rubella for nearly 1,500 workers of a company following an outbreak of the disease.
Earlier, 153 workers of a US-invested furniture company at Binh Duong’s My Phuoc 3 Industrial Park have been diagnosed with rubella from January 3-27.

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