No positive samples of avian influenza H7N9 virus have been found in poultry in Vietnam, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural said on April 16.

Dam Xuan Thanh, Deputy Head of the Ministry’s Department of Animal Health, said one third of the 500 samples collected randomly from smuggled poultry and domestic fowls sold in the market tested negative for the virus.

The rest is being continued testing, Thanh said at the meeting of the National Steering Committee on Bird Flu Prevention and Control in Hanoi.

He warned of the high risk of bird flu outbreak among poultry because of weather. In addition, poultry illegal transport has yet been stopped, especially in boundary provinces, he added.

In an effort to control and prevent the new virus, the Ministry has recently urged localities to step up monitoring of poultry and poultry products transported from northern border provinces, while preparing vaccine.

Meanwhile, preventive measures are being carried out in various localities.

Head of the Hanoi Department of Animal Health Can Xuan Binh said the department has actively coordinated with relevant agencies to take samples from poultry raising farms in the suburban districts of Phu Xuyen, Thuong Tin, Ung Hoa and Thanh Oai, as well as poultry markets.

He said that since early this year, the department has tested 2,500 samples, but no case positive with H5N1 or H7N9 virus has been detected.

Apart from vaccinating domestic fowls in the city, the department has held training avian influenza-related courses for all veterinary staff, while coordinating with the media to give instructions on the influenza prevention and control to people.

In Hanoi’s neighbouring province of Bac Ninh where the road linking Hanoi and northern boundary provinces runs cross, the local authorities have taken influenza preventive measures, while enhancing the supervision of poultry and poultry products imported and transported through the province. It also tightens the management of fowl trading.

In the northern border province of Lao Cai, various preventive measures have taken to actively cope with risks of avian influenza H7N9 outbreak.

Nguyen Van Suu, Director of the Lao Cai Centre for Preventive Health Care, said the centre has set up 21 mobile response teams with 100 health workers in nine localities. It also stockpiled a number of disinfectants and other necessary equipment to prevent and control the H7N9 virus, he said.

Local authorities have also strengthened monitoring and supervising the people, vehicles and goods crossing border gates to prevent illegal import of fowls.-VNA