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Plan seeks to minimise social, economic impact of bird flu

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed off a national plan on avian influenza prevention and control for 2019-2025 with a view to reducing its impact on society and the economy.

The plan seeks to prevent and control avian influenza outbreaks and help form disease-free poultry farming zones and chains, thus minimising bird flu’s impact on Vietnam’s public health, food safety, and trading activities.

Authorised forces are requested to control outbreaks well through early detection and a swift dealing with infected hotbeds to prevent them from spreading. The plan also tasked them with preventing new and dangerous flu strains from entering or spreading in Vietnam, while vaccinating at least 80 percent of poultry subject to vaccination.

Additionally, disease-free poultry production zones and chains need to be created in conformity with recommendations of the World Organisation of Animal Health, thus ensuring qualified supply for domestic consumption and export, and reducing the human infection of dangerous flu strains like the H5 or H7 viruses, according to the plan.

In Vietnam, avian influenza virus A/H5N1 in poultry was reported for the first time in late 2003. At that time, Vietnam was one of the first countries to declare an epidemic of this virus and suffered from heavy losses when more than 45 million poultry were culled between 2003 and 2006. Since then, hundreds of thousands of poultry have been killed each year.

From 2004 to 2014, 127 people were infected with A/H5N1, including 64 victims who did not survive, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.