Thailand on alert against avian flu

Thai health authorities nationwide have been on alert against avian flu, after the deadly H5N1 virus was recently detected in a chicken carcass in Hong Kong, Thai News agency reported Thursday.

Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri said that he has ordered chiefs of provincial public health offices to closely monitor the avian flu situation in their respective areas.

So far, there are no bird flu patients and fatalities reported in the country for over three years, he said.

However, he added that Thailand will remain cautioned as the bird flu alarm has been subsequently heightened to a critical level in Hong Kong.

“My ministry will work closely coordinated with Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Department of Livestocks Development to keep a close watch on updates,” he said, adding that so far no cases of local poultry having died suspiciously.

Wittaya said there is no need to issue any travel restriction at the moment. Hong Kong health authorities have declared a new bird flu crisis, with over 17,000 chickens on the business island to be culled and all live poultry imports to be banned for 21 days.

– Bernama