Southern Vietnam to check passenger temperature to prevent bird flu

(Sep. 12, 2006) Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City has assigned its International Quarantine Center and the Tan Son Nhat International Airport to check body temperature of international arrivals to the locality amid recent bird flu outbreaks in some countries, local media reported Tuesday.

Remote temperature-measuring machines using infra-red rays and specialized thermometers are installed, ready to operate around the clock, newspaper Agriculture said.

Those who have temperature of over 38 Celsius degrees will be invited to enter isolation rooms for bird flu diagnosis.

Vietnam's Health Ministry has 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.

The Vietnamese government has recently instructed state agencies and localities nationwide to intensify prevention of and fights against bird flu, including placing a temporary ban on import of live poultry and related products from countries hit by the disease.

Bird flu outbreaks, starting in Vietnam in December 2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of fowls. The last outbreak of bird flu among poultry in the country was in December 2005, according to the Department of Animal Health under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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


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