YANGON, June 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The Myanmar health ministry has urged the public to remain vigilant against avian influenza following the persistent presence of such virus and freshed outbreak in some Southeast Asian countries, a local weekly reported Sunday.
Despite no cases of bird flu so far reported in Myanmar, awareness about the modes of infection of the avian influenza should be widely promoted among the public and effective precautionary and educational measures be intensified to prevent any occurrence in humans and birds, a health official was quoted by the Myanmar Times as warning.
Myanmar has developed a national pandemic plan since early thisyear for controlling the disease under guidelines prescribed by the World Health Organization, the report said, adding that isolation units have also been set up at hospitals in the country's border towns.
According to the report, the Japan International Cooperation Agency provided Myanmar early this year with equipment and test kids to improve its capacity for diagnosing bird flu.
Myanmar has also benefited from a fund of 400,000 US dollars extended to Southeast Asian nations by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to enhance efforts in this regard.
Since renewed outbreak of bird flu in some SEA countries was reported in last September, Myanmar has stepped up precautionary measures against the disease which include alerting farmers to report any unusual increase in mortality rate among poultry.
There are 63 million chickens in Myanmar, of which 50 million are bred outdoor in rural areas.
Since January last year when bird flu was first reported in the region, millions of chickens across the country have been checked as part of its measures in prevention against the possible outbreak of the disease. Enditem