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Authorities spray cars in attempt to halt flu

AUTHORITIES in Kandal province have launched a campaign to contain a recent outbreak of the H5N1 influenza virus – commonly known as bird flu – that led to large-scale culls of chickens and ducks in neighbouring Takeo province last week.

Ing Sokmoy, chief of the Office of Domesticated Animals at the Kandal provincial Department of Agriculture, said on Wednesday that the campaign, which began this week, was designed to prevent the virus from spreading during Chinese New Year, which begins on February 14.

As part of the campaign, officials have been spraying vehicles travelling along National Road 1 to Phnom Penh with liquid TH4, an antibacterial agent. H5N1 is nonbacterial.

“We always have these kinds of campaigns to avoid virus infection,” she said. “Even though our province has no reports of bird flu, we want people to be cautious that bird flu has been found in Takeo province recently and make them aware about sanitation.”

She added that TH4 would be sprayed on the wheels of all cars and trucks importing goods to Phnom Penh through Kandal.

Ing Sokmoy did not say when the campaign was set to finish, but emphasised that it will continue for as long as officials deem it necessary.

On February 3, officials started to cull poultry in Takeo’s Pralay Meas village after more than 19,000 ducks died and some bird flu tests came back positive. Nhib Sron, director of the Takeo provincial Department of Agriculture, said sales of poultry have been banned for 30 days within 5 kilometres of the affected village in Koh Andeth district.

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