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Vietnam Says It Will Draw on SARS Experience in H7N9 Fight

Vietnam’s government said it will draw on its experiences a decade ago in controlling severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS, as the country mobilizes to prevent any cases or spread of H7N9 avian influenza.

The Chinese capital of Beijing yesterday confirmed its first H7N9 case, as the nationwide tally of infections from the new bird-flu strain climbed to at least 49, with at least 11 fatalities.

Vietnam was the first nation in 2003 to successfully contain its outbreak of SARS, according to the World Health Organization. Vietnam reported 63 cases, five of which resulted in fatalities. Worldwide, there were 8,096 probable cases of SARS, with 774 fatalities, according to the WHO.

To prepare for H7N9, Vietnam’s Health Ministry is training health workers and establishing a network of hospitals that would treat any patients, while the Agriculture Ministry carries out sampling in markets and from birds, the government said on its website.

Airports in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are scanning the body temperatures of visitors as they arrive, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

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