Thursday, January 18, 2007

New bird flu suspect hospitalised in Phichit

PHICHIT, Jan 18 (TNA) - A boy in this northern province suspected of having contracted avian influenza had direct contact with a sick chicken before falling ill.

The chicken died suspiciously and the boy developed a high fever. Doctors are waiting for lab tests to determine whether he is infected with the H5N1 virus or not.
The boy lives in Phothalae district in Phichit, the province that was hit by bird flu.

Meanwhile, animal husbandry officials at Phopratabchang ordered a quarantine for more than 2,000 free-range ducks in the Banthungyai area in the district.
Duck samples were sent to the lab to check the possible spread of the H5N1 virus.
Sithidej Panthongchai, supervising a Phichit animal quarantine checkpoint, said it was set up to prevent the movement of poultry between Phitsanulok and Phichit provinces.

Poultry movements will be allowed only with permission from veterinarians, and the birds must be sprayed with disinfectant.Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry spokesperson in Bangkok said provincial chief medical officers (CMOs) nationwide were instructed to strictly implement bird flu prevention measures during the next two months.

Dr. Supan Srithamma said that Dr. Somyot Charoensak, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health, in his capacity as chairman of the centre for bird flu, influenza and new communicable diseases, ordered the alert and close monitoring of bird flu to prevent any outbreak. CMO responsibilities include reporting unusual deaths of poultry to the authorities. All persons having close contact with poultry, especially farmers, whether the birds are dead or alive, are asked to take special precautions to avoid contracting the deadly viral disease.

Symptoms resembling bird flu in any patient requires immediate medical attention, he said.The Department of Health Service Support had set aside Bt9 million to train village public health volunteers to upgrade their skills on bird flu prevention practices.It was expected that the training in all districts nationwide will be complete in February.

Thailand is among the countries most affected by the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, recording 25 human cases, 17 of them fatal, since the most recent outbreak here in 2004.

more info at:Bird flu

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