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Thailand still on high alert against H7N9 bird flu


BANGKOK, April 3  – Thai authorities concerned have remained on high alert to prevent any H7N9 bird flu case in Thailand, as the number of the new deadly avian flu patients in China has risen to seven, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported. The concerned agencies include the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Department of Livestock Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Department of Disease Control Director-General Dr. Porntep Siriwanarangsun has confirmed that the number of H7N9 avian influenza patients in China has increased to seven, but an initial investigation has not found any human-to-human transmission. Dr. Porntep told reporters, before having a discussion on the matter with viral experts on Wednesday afternoon, that the situation remains safe at a certain extent in Thailand, where there has been free of any bird flu outbreak for a long time and does not import poultry from China.

bird_flu.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoDeputy Prime Minister and Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Yukol Limlaemthong said, meanwhile, that he has ordered his ministry’s Department of Livestock Development to join forces with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to check droppings and carcasses of migrant birds nationwide and to prohibit poultry import at border checkpoints.

Department of Livestock Development Director-General Tritsadee Chaosuanchareon also confirmed that there has never been any outbreak of the H7N9 avian influenza virus in Thailand, where existing preventive measures are considered among the best, as they have effectively prevented any outbreak of avian influenza in the country for four years. Tritsadee acknowledged, as a precaution, his department is campaigning for sanitiser sprays at 1.3 million poultry farms nationwide this month.