BANGKOK, Oct 24 (AFP): Thailand has assigned 900,000 volunteers to perform house-to-house checks for signs of the deadly avian influenza virus, Health Minister Suchai Charoenratanakul said Monday.
The initiative, to be coordinated by more than 9,700 local health offices, comes as Thailand tries to combat bird flu following the country's 13th death from the virus.
The volunteer programme, which also involves bringing possibly infected subjects to nearby hospitals, is similar to a campaign launched in 2004.
Some 957 hospitals across the country have been ordered to ask possibly infected patients whether they lived in affected areas or had any contact with sick or dead chickens before they fell ill, Suchai said in a statement.
"With all these measures, we are confident we can prevent the disease becoming widespread," the minister said.