The second phase of a national project on avian and human influenza control and preparedness and pandemic prevention has started in 11 provinces and cities. Addressing a conference to launch the second phase in northern Vinh Phuc province on March 21, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said bird flu has broken out again, with complicated virus changes and no specific vaccine or medicine for treatment. The ministry has considered investment in upgrading preventive medicine and treatment systems as one of its top priorities, he said. The second phase of the project is being carried out this year at a cost of 23 million USD. The project is a collaboration between the health, agriculture and rural development sectors, to raise the effectiveness of the Government’s solutions to reduce the risks of bird flu infections in humans and poultry in target areas. It is also intended to improve the preparedness for a pandemic outbreak and emerging diseases, as well as enhance coordination between sectors in epidemic surveillance and prevention.-VNA