Institutes to supervise bird flu in Southeast Asia

Health institutes in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and France will, late this year, start a four-year project on keeping surveillance on bird flu outbreaks among humans in Southeast Asia.

Under the project funded by the French Development Agency, Pasteur institutes in Vietnam's Ha Noi capital, central Nha Trang city and southern Ho Chi Minh City, China's Shanghai, France's Paris, and Cambodia, and a laboratory in Laos will reinforce their standard labs and national disease response networks, exchange data and specimens relating to bird flu, and put forth measures to contain outbreaks.

The total investment for the project stands at 6 million euros (over 7.6 million U.S. dollars).

Vietnam's Health Ministry has recently assigned 14 hospitals in major cities to closely supervise and promptly cope with any bird flu outbreaks among people. The hospitals and preventive medicine centers are to ensure the operation of disease surveillance systems around the clock, and the sufficient supply of facilities for treatment of bird flu patients.

To date, Vietnam has detected 93 bird flu patients, the ministry said on Wednesday, noting that it has seen no new human cases of infections since mid-November 2005. (from


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