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Avian influenza: First information from the joint WHO/OIE/FAO mission to Vietnam

Dr. Veronique Jestin from the OIE Reference Laboratory in Ploufragan, France, and OIE expert, has returned from her mission to Vietnam with the field team WHO/OIE/FAO.

In collaboration with the Vietnamese veterinary authorities and the other members of the mission, she conducted an evaluation of the current epidemiological situation relating to avian influenza in that country.

On January 23, the situation described by the Vietnamese authorities was of 23 affected provinces, 445 outbreaks and 2.9 million affected poultry. The conditions in the north of the country are described as under control, while in the south the epidemic appears to further develop.

Among some mixed establishments that are infected, containing pigs and poultry, only the poultry are being sacrified.

The Vietnamese authorities have officially requested that the OIE continue to provide advice on the subject of defining the policies required to manage such a situation.

The introduction of sentinels before any repopulation, as well as the possible use of a systematic prophylactic vaccination were discussed. Furthermore, they have agreed with the Vietnamese authorities to continue to work in very close collaboration with the experts of the WHO, the OIE, and the FAO.

The WHO/OIE/FAO operational teams continue to operate in the affected countries of the region and to provide their recommendations in full transparency to the concerned governments.