Vietnam alarmed at A/H7N9 influenza threat hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Vietnam has so far recorded no infections of A/H7N9 poultry influenza; however, the country is intensifying measures to prevent the virus given the new outbreak in neighbouring China.

The Preventive Health Department warned there is a high risk of virus transmission because Vietnam shares a long border line with China together with the busy trade activities between the two sides.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on October 19 said that the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China reported two additional cases of A/H7N9 virus in Huzhou city and Jinhua city in Zhejiang province last month.

The Ministry of Health is closely working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to increase inspection of diseases in human and poultry for early detection and prevention.

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the A/H7N9 virus has been continually detected in animals in multiple provinces in China since June.

This means the virus still persists in the poultry population. If the pattern of disease follows the trends seen in previous years, the number of human infections may rise over the coming months, the FAO said.

So far, 573 human infections with A/H7N9 have been reported globally, including 212 fatalities.

The WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.-VNA