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Action taken to prevent bird flu spreading
By Zhu Yuzi (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-25 00:00

China is carrying out monitoring and making efforts to prevent bird flu from entering the country from Viet Nam.

Bird flu has been discovered in more than 10 provinces and cities in China's southern neighbour since June, while a total of 15 people have been killed by the virus and more than 60,000 chicken were slaughtered.

People entering China from Viet Nam would be required to report their health condition to the entry-exit inspection and quarantine bodies once they have the symptoms resembling those of bird flu, such as fever, coughing and muscle ache, the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of China announced on Monday.

For those going to Viet Nam, the administration suggested they turn to medical help as soon as catching any of those symptoms.

Also, the inspection and quarantine bodies across China will offer the travellers the latest information on situation of the spreading of bird flu in Viet Nam as well as necessary tips on preventing the virus.

Meanwhile, the administration suggested measures the public could take to help evade the virus, advising people to stay away from contaminated poultry and the infected individuals.

The public is also advised to treat the excrement of the contaminated creatures with caution.

According to the administration, raw or undercooked poultry should be not eaten and masks should be worn when raising and butchering poultry.

Washing of hands is recommended as an efficient way to counter the infection.

The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a large-scale monitoring project across the country and conducted pathogenic and serological checks of over 1.1 million poultry and pigs.

The result showed that there was no pig infected with the bird flu virus.

The World Health Organization announced recently that no pig imported from the mainland to Hong Kong was found to have contracted bird flu.

Hong Kong has increased its imports of live chicken from the mainland since August 16, as the demand is growing with the coming of the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of China's traditional holidays.

However, the organization warned that Asian countries must remain alert to bird flu since Asia is still facing threats posed by the virus.

Strict measures have been adopted to prevent the spread of bird flu in areas bordering Viet Nam.

Besides reporting their state of health, people are required to test their body temperature when entering the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the Guangxi Entrance-Exit Inspection and Quarantine.

People discovered to have any symptoms of bird flu will be prevented from entering the region.

Certain hospitals have been designated in the region to treat the possible suspects.

In another development, markets on the Sino-Vietnamese border are being closely monitored to prevent the sale of poultry from Viet Nam.

Vehicles crossing the border have also been carefully examined and sterilized.

China saw an isolated reoccurrence of bird flu in Anhui Province in early July after the disease was stamped out in March. That incidence of the disease was soon brought under control.

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