Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued an urgent notice requiring centrally-run cities and provinces, especially border localities, ministries and agencies to deploy strong measures to prevent avian influenza viruses including H7N9 from entering Vietnam.

Accordingly, they were asked to ban the transport, trading, slaughter, and consumption of poultry and its products imported illegally across the border, including in the form of presenting as gifts between organisations, individuals and border residents.

Communications campaigns should be held to raise public awareness of the danger of avian flu and urge farming households to buy breeding poultry of clear origin from prestigious dealers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development asked localities to work closely with public security, customs and medical sectors to give timely response in case of any avian flu outbreak.

In order to promptly discover A/H7N9 virus and other virus strains, relevant agencies must regularly take samples from live poultry for testing.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), China recorded 109 infections of A/H7N9 virus in January, raising the total number of A/H7N9 cases in the country since the first case was detected in February 2013 to 1,174, with 417 fatalities.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) also reported that China found 26 poultry samples positive with H7N9 virus and 33 others positive with H7 virus.

Meanwhile, the World Organisation for Animal Health said avian flu H5N2, H5N8 and H5N6 broke out in China this January. Therefore, there are high risks that avian flu A/H7N9 and other strains of flu virus can enter Vietnam through smuggled poultry.-VNA