Public Health Ministry on high alert against possible avian flu spread from Cambodia


BANGKOK, 6 March 2013 The Public Health Ministry is on high alert against the possible spread of avian flu into the country, after a number of people have been reportedly killed by H5N1 virus in neighboring Cambodia.

Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr. Narong Sahametapat said that Thailand is now on alert to prevent the outbreak of avian flu even though the country has not found a single patient during the past 7 years. 

Dr. Narong’s comment was made after the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there have been 7 bird-flu patients in Cambodia, 2 in China and 1 in Egypt, during January 1 and February 15, 2013. Out of this, 7, including 6 in Cambodia, died.

The Permanent Secretary for Public Health stated that the H5N1 outbreak in the neighboring country has put Thailand on high alert and the ministry has already instructed all related provincial health offices, particularly in Sa Kaeo Province, which borders Cambodia, to watch out for any possible spread of the virus.

He added the alert is applied to both poultry and human while related provincial livestock offices were ordered to be ready to control the spread of the avian flu, if the virus is ever found.

In addition, all hospitals under the ministry have been advised to stock up Oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug and to conduct thorough diagnosis on patients suspected to have contracted the virus.

The Public Health Ministry also warned the public to only consume completely-cooked poultry and eggs, to never include sick poultry in any cooking, and to report any suspected case of avian influenza to the nearest livestock or public health offices as soon as possible.