BANGKOK, Oct. 31 (Xinhuanet) -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Thailand has launched a crackdown on smuggled bird flu vaccines at border check points nationwide.
A national committee on avian flu prohibits use of any bird fluvaccine on chickens or ducks because the treated poultry will not die, but remain as carriers for the potentially deadly virus.
Members of the public are asked to call the FDA's hot line 1556 to give tip-offs about contraband vaccine 24 hours a day, while smuggling suspects themselves may face up to five-year jail terms.
Deputy Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was quoted by the Thai News Agency as saying on Monday that about 1,500 bottles of bird flu vaccine had been seized, mostly at the Chiang Saen border check point in Chiang Rai Province so far this year.
One bottle of vaccine could be used for about 650 chickens, while the total of seized contraband could have served almost one million chickens.
Meanwhile, more than 14,000 chickens were found to have contracted bird flu, more than 11,500 of which were already culledand buried, said Anutin.
He assured the public that all 725 community-based health units of the Public Health Ministry could readily contain bird flu pandemic around the clock and that each unit is also stocked with 20 tablets of Tamilflu anti-virus medicine.
Much more Tamilful is available at provincial hospitals and provincial offices of the ministry.
Villagers are requested to alert health officials, health care volunteers, local leaders and livestock officials should their household poultry die.
Persons having a fever or cough after they have contact with infected chickens are advised to see a doctor within 48 hours.
FDA's Deputy Secretary General Manit Arunakul said his agency has opened 25 border check points, and 36 more check points will be opened nationwide next year. Enditem