Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thailand stocks up antiviral drugs against bird flu

 Apr 11, 2013

BANGKOK: Thailand has stocked up some four million doses of antiviral drugs, as part of the Ministry of Public Health's high alert against deadly bird flu of all strains, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

Public Health Minister Dr. Pradit Sinthawanarong told reporters that his ministry has also closely coordinated with experts of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives' Department of Livestocks Development, the Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) and Thailand MOPH-US CDC Collaboration (TUC) to monitor the updated situation although there have been no bird flu cases reported in Thailand for over seven years.

Dr. Pradit acknowledged that his ministry's moves are in response to latest reports that current outbreaks of the new deadly H7N9 avian flu in China have killed three more people, while the H5N1 strain has re-emerged in neighbouring Cambodia and Vietnam, with eight fatalities in Cambodia alone so far.

Dr. Pradit said there has been no evidence that both the H7N9 and the H5N1 avian influenza of the A-strain, spreading in China, Vietnam and Cambodia, has been spread from human to human, insisting that two antiviral drugs, including oseltamivir and zanamivir, remain effective for bird flu patients.

According to updated reports, there have been three more H7N9 fatalities in China, bringing the death toll from the H7N9 virus in the country to nine, from a total of 21 patients so far.

Vietnam, meanwhile, has recorded one H5N1 patient, a four year-old boy, while the same viral strain has killed eight people in Cambodia lately.

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