Thais at risk as bird flu breaks out in Vietnam

PHOTO: Thais at risk as bird flu breaks out in Vietnam

BANGKOK - The situation in Thailand is being closely monitored after a report confirmed an H5N1 outbreak in Vietnam and the subsequent culling of 2,500 chicken in a province near Mekong delta, the Public Health Ministry said yesterday.

Thailand is now facing two risks: a seasonal migration of birds and cool temperatures, which helps the virus multiply.

The ministry is also urging members of the public to report poultry deaths and not touch the carcasses, while those involved in disposing the bodies should wear full protective gear.

The ministry said that between 2004 and 2006, there were several confirmed H5N1 cases in Thailand, of which 17 had turned fatal, though there were none afterwards.

All government hospitals have been told to closely survey every case of flu, lung infection and pneumonia, which have similar manifestations to H5N1.