Fresh bird flu outbreak hits Bac Kan

The Department of Health has confirmed two more cases of bird flu in patients from the northern province of Bac Kan’s Cho Moi District, a health official reported April 15.

People should not contact with ill poultry to prevent contract bird flu ( Photo: WHO)

The two people were taken to hospital in the province in serious condition, said Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga of the Preventive Health and Environment Department.

The patients are from the same village where several other cases of avian influenza were reported earlier, causing concern that the area has become a hotspot for the illness and that human-to-human transmission could potentially occur.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tran Nhu Duong, deputy director of the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said the institute recently appointed two groups to conduct an epidemiological investigation of the village.

The groups found that the two latest cases became infected after  coming into contact with infected poultry, adding there was no evidence to suggest the patients had contracted the flu from other infected individuals.

Bird flu has claimed two lives in Vietnam so far this year.

In related news, Dr. Nga said four provinces have recently reported cases of cholera. He expressed concern that a large outbreak of the disease could soon occur as the prolonged sweltering weather that Vietnam is experiencing is conducive to development of the cholera bacteria, which causes acute diarrhea and can be fatal if left untreated.

The hot weather has also reduced water levels in lakes and rivers in southern provinces, forcing people to resort to using dirty water sources where the Vibrio cholera bacterium thrives.

In addition, food is more prone to spoilage in hot weather, which can create favorable conditions for cholera to develop.

Health officials advise people to practice good personal hygiene and keep food preparation areas clean. Food should be cooked well and water should be boiled before drinking. People should also wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating or handling food.

By Q. Lap - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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