Localities vulnerable to the return of H7N9 and H5N1 avian influenza are on high alert and taking all possible precautions as an epidemic has broken out in neighbouring China.

The northern mountainous province of Cao Bang, which shares a borderline of over 300km with China, has cracked down on the trading of smuggled poultry products from the neighbouring country while spraying disinfectants at border gates, particularly at Ta Lung and Tra Linh.

Local medical stations have set up teams who always stand ready to act when any infection occurs. They are equipped with all necessary tools and medicine to limit the seriousness of any infection.

Provincial authorities have warned locals not to buy or come into contact with fowls of unknown origin. In case any domestic fowl dies, they must report this to relevant units as soon as possible.

Those with symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or high temperatures must be brought to hospitals soon for swift treatment.

Meanwhile, in the central province of Quang Ngai, the bird virus H5N1 is spreading across Duc Pho district and poses a risk of infecting humans.

The district’s preventive medical centre has directed villages and communes to monitor the situation closely. If any suspected case is found, they must promptly take samples for tests.

The locality has also been provided with 100kg of Cloramin B powder for sterilisation and 100,000 anti-virus pills.

Director of the provincial preventive medical centre Ho Minh Nen said it has launched educational campaigns about the epidemic in affected areas and is monitoring those who are in close contact with poultry.

He said that farmers whose domestic birds die of natural causes must follow the proper procedures as regulated. They must also pay particular attention to personal hygiene in both eating and drinking to maximise safety.-VNA