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US Holds Bird Flu Training for Veterinarians

The US government launched a series of training courses for Cambodian veterinarians Tuesday, in an effort to prevent an outbreak of deadly avian influenza.

The US Department of Agriculture will conduct laboratory training to help Cambodian health professionals diagnose the virus early.

Ninety veterinarians from 24 provinces will participate in the 10-day training courses.

Rural veterinarians have an important role in preventing an outbreak of the disease, so they need to understand how to diagnose it and prevent an outbreak, including methods of reporting to the Ministry of Agriculture, said Dr. Kao Phal, director-general of the department of animal health and production of the ministry.

The training was in response to the needs of Cambodian veterinarians, who were asking for more knowledge of the disease, said Um Bunna, an agricultural scientist and poultry health specialist for the US Department of Agriculture.

Kim An, a veterinarian from Kep, said Tuesday the training was important for him to monitor the disease from his rural base. He planned to share his experiences with other veterinarians, villagers and authorities.

Seven Cambodians have so far died from bird flu, four in Kampot province, and one each in Kampong Speu, Prey Veng and Kampong Cham provinces.