WORLD: UN remains optimistic as bird flu spreads
With the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus now confirmed in 45 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has said that efforts to combat the virus are meeting with some success.
To date, bird flu has killed 108 people in Asia. More than 200m birds have died either as a result of the disease or through culling designed to slow its spread. However, these efforts may be paying off, according to Joseph Domenech, chief vetinary officer of the FAO. Culls in Thailand, Viet Nam and China appear to have reduced the transmition of the disease to humans, Domenech observed.
Vaccination campaigns are also helping to contain the spread of the disease while compensation plans now in place have alleviated economic hardship and encouraged the timely reporting of new outbreaks.
The FAO has said that national governments should concentrate on containment efforts on farms.
Human activity, when birds are transported or brought to market, is the primary way that bird flu is spread. It is also necessary to keep domestic and wild birds separate.
"The need to keep domestic birds away from wild birds has been widely recognized and efforts to do so have been implemented in many countries," said Domenech.
Tests performed on the dead swan found in Fyfe, Scotland, have confirmed that the bird was infected with H5N1 avian influenza...
Russia's bird flu epidemic is subsiding and should disappear by late August, according to a World Health Organization official quoted by the Reuters news agency....
Russia's agriculture ministry said that the deadly bird flu virus had been found in a third Siberian province as officials began a mass cull to contain its spread and three ex-Soviet countries imposed...
Indonesia is to slaughter all chickens on farms hit by bird flu in an effort to halt the spread of the virus, the country's agriculture minister said today (Thursday), according to the Guardian newspa...
The key international organisations fighting bird flu have agreed a global strategy preventing the disease spreading worldwide and jumping species to humans....
The Philippines has discovered its first cases of bird flu with infected ducks being found in a town north of the capital, Manila, according to the BBC....
Malaysian poultry products are free of the avian influenza, according to internationally specified rules and codes, and countries should resume their imports without any hesitation, a government minis...
China denied it encouraged farmers to use a drug meant for humans to stop the spread of bird flu in poultry which could render the medicine useless, but said it would investigate, the AFP news agency ...
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