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Thailand, Vietnam to fight bird flu together

Updated On: Feb 04, 2005

Suphan Buri – Amid growing concerns that the bird flu may develop into a full-blown human security problem in the region,ThailandandVietnamare planning to set up a co-operation centre and improve their bird flu surveillance.

Health and livestock officials from both countries will meet in Phuket later this month to discuss ways of bringing outbreak areas under control.

“The two countries can hold joint responsibility for an avian flu surveillance system since they have had a similar experience of virus infection among humans,” Dr Charun Trinvuthipong, director ofThailand’s anti-bird flu centre, said on Jan 31.

Apart from the surveillance centre, the two-day meeting will also focus on practical precautionary activities and health-care facilities in order to minimse chances of virus transmission and to provide early warning on possible human infection.

Dr Charun saidThailandwould also propose that neighbouring countries boost stringent surveillance measures and run campaigns to make people more aware of the disease.

According to the BBC, the bird flu has claimed 12 lives in Vietnam in the past month and morethan a million poultry birds have been culled. Several cases of bird flu have also been reported in two Thai provinces recently.

* Joint centre to fight bird flu planned (Bangkok Post, Feb 1)