The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has issued an emergency dispatch asking cities and provinces nationwide to deploy measures to prevent the new avian flu virus A/H5N6.

Localities were requested to focus on controlling illegal cross-border poultry smuggling to avoid the spreading of A/H5N6 and other bird flu strains in Vietnam .

The ministry also urged for strict quarantine and inspection of poultry as well as close control of poultry transport and trading in each locality.

Along with raising public awareness of the deadly strain, the MARD advised farmers to report to local authorities immediately in case of any abnormal sickness or death of their poultry.

All fowls tested positive for the virus must be destroyed following guidelines of veterinary agencies.

Recently, the deadly viral strain A/H5N6 has been detected in a flock of chicken in northern Lang Son province bordering China , and a duck flock in the central province of Ha Tinh next to Laos .

Genetic sequencing of samples showed that the virus is 99 percent similar to the deadly A/H5N6 strain reported in Sichuan , China .

The flocks were destroyed immediately, while the infection areas were disinfected. So far, no additional infection has been reported in these localities.

According to the World Health Organisation, A/H5N6 is a highly pathogenic strain but there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission despite occasional instances of apparent inflection between family members.-VNA