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No H7N9 infection cases reported in VietnamVietnam has yet to report any cases of either humans or poultry infected with the new H7N9 avian influenza strain, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

Speaking at a conference in Hanoi on April 23, Long warned of the high risks of H7N9 spreading to Vietnam through border gates and the potential for an epidemic that would entail.

To further strengthen preventive measures against the deadly flu virus, Vietnam is establishing border area check points and plans to have intensive care on standby for any suspected cases.

Provinces and cities have been urged to draw up plans against the disease and work closely with relevant agencies to control the spread of another deadly H5N1 avian influenza.

Sterilisation programmes are being stepped up at breeding farms and slaughter houses, while the trade, transport, and slaughter of poultry are under strict controls.

Since the beginning of this year, two A/H5N1 human cases have been confirmed, with one in Dong Thap province and the other in Long An province. The patient in Dong Thap died.

As many as 28 out of 335 samples tested positive for flu virus, including eight with A/H3N2 and nine with A/H1N1.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) tested all 81 patient samples showing serious respiratory syndromes. None tested positive for the H7N9 virus.

Vietnam is tightly monitoring travelers from China to Vietnam as the H7N9 strain continues to spread through its northern neighbour. So far, no arriving guests from China have been quarantined or suspected of infection.

Tran Dac Phu, Deputy Head of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department, Phu emphasised the difficulties in preventing and controlling the spread of the fatal disease as its method of transmission is still unknown. Monitoring trans-border poultry trade and travel is also a challenge.

The Health Ministry has supplied localities nationwide with more of the Taminflu drug and dispatched delegations to assist with preventing the spread of the H7N9 virus.

(VOV)

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