The move came after a warning by the local Pasteur Institute on a death from the disease in a Cambodian province bordering Vietnam, Nga noted.
According to her, the system targets all clusters of respiratory illnesses in the community or those of severe respiratory infections with a history of exposure to poultry. To comply with the department’s request, all cases of severe pneumonia of unknown cause in the area will be sampled for diagnostic testing.
Poultry and waterfowl farms, wholesale poultry markets, slaughtering units and border gates are set to be increasingly inspected.
Nga said huge traffic flows between the southern metropolis and other provinces and cities, coupled with its large number of border gates, pose a very high risk of the disease invasion.
The municipal Hospital for Tropical Diseases is now ready in terms of facilities, medicine, and personnel to receive patients infected with the virus.
A/H5N1 is a dangerous disease that starts in poultry and spreads to humans through contact. It has a rapid progression and currently there is no specific treatment and no vaccine for humans. The mortality rate among people infected is up to 70% when it turns to pneumonia.