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Yunnan guards against bird flu intrusion
Updated: 2005-01-09 16:41

Southwest China's Yunnan Province, which borders Vietnam, has taken a series of emergency measures to prevent bird flu in Vietnam from spreading into China, sources with the local government said.

All major transportation lines, poultry farms, regions on the Sino-Vietnam border and places which were hit by bird flu outbreak early last year have been urged to inject vaccine on poultry, the sources said.

A Vietnamese poultry seller sits behind her chicken cages at a market in Hanoi, January 6, 2005. [Reuters]

The provincial government has urged local agricultural, health, import and export quarantine, public security, quality inspection departments and customs officers to work together to monitor possible spread of bird flu and distribution of poultry and egg products in Yunnan. Anyone who causes the spread of bird flu as result of dereliction of duty will be punished harshly, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the local animal husbandry department has set up a 30-km-wide "immune protection zone" in the border area neighboring Vietnam and set up disinfecting stations at the frontier passages and border ports to make thorough check and disinfect all vehicles and personnel passing by.

A three-layer report system, involving participation of households, villages and township, has been built in rural areas of Yunnan. Any outbreak of bird flu should be reported to higher authority within 24 hours.

Yunnan shares a 1,200-kilometer-long border with Vietnam, where people of 13 ethnic groups live across border and there are nearly 100 marketplaces for cross border trade.

The relapse of bird flu has been seen in 11 localities of Vietnam since December last year. An 18-year-old girl from Vietnam 's southern region has just been hospitalized for being suspected of having contracted virus H5N1, raising the number of confirmed and suspected cases of bird flu to five.

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