Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Avian influenza made notifiable

Avian influenza made notifiable

Health Minister Annette King says the family of viruses responsible for the avian influenza outbreak in a number of Asian countries has been added to New Zealand's schedule of notifiable diseases.

The Order in Council adding the family of viruses to the schedule was signed yesterday, will be gazetted tomorrow and come into effect on Thursday.

Currently eight countries are experiencing outbreaks of avian influenza caused by H5N1, a virus in the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) family. Authorities are culling poultry flocks in an effort to curb the spread of the disease, and minimise the possibility of the virus combining with a human influenza virus. There have been no cases in New Zealand in poultry, or in humans.

Ms King said while worldwide there were still no reported cases of human-to-human transmission of H5N1, it was prudent to be prepared for that possibility, as well as for the possibility of somebody becoming infected through contact with poultry in one of the affected countries and then travelling to New Zealand.

"Health experts internationally are warning us that if this virus combines with a human influenza virus we could have a global epidemic of a new and devastating illness which would be many times worse than SARS," she said.

"With that in mind we have made highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) notifiable. Making avian influenza in humans notifiable allows health authorities to gather the information they need to respond appropriately to any future cases."

Ms King said risks such as that posed by H5N1 were difficult to quantify and manage. "Our best course of action is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This is an important tool for our health authorities in their preparation."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Cyclone Gita: Metservice Forecasts Gita To Impact New Zealand - Be Prepared

Cyclone Gita is expected to approach New Zealand from the northwest early next week. There remains some uncertainty with regards to the speed and track of Gita, but the passage of this system across New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday is likely to bring a period of highly impactful severe weather.

People should be aware of the potential for coastal inundation, especially where high waves,low atmospheric pressure and strong onshore winds come together ... More>>




Commerce, Etc: Thicker Bright Line For Real Estate

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.More>>


Prison Inspections: Reports on Manawatu and Paremoremo Released

The Office of the Inspectorate today released reports into Manawatu Prison and Auckland Prison (Paremoremo), the first two resulting from a programme of inspections of New Zealand prisons. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Leadership Contest

National needs a new leader able to: (a) compete with, undermine and defeat a currently popular and politically adept Prime Minister; (b) define whether National now sees itself as being a traditional conservative party or a modern neo-liberal one; (c) devise a strategy that addresses National’s chronic lack of a viable coalition partner More>>


Whistle Blowers: Government To Review Law On Protection

Work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Christchurch: PM Launches 100% Electric Car Share Offering

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest deployment of pure battery electric cars and largest pure EV car sharing model was officially launched in Christchurch today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. More>>


Carer Pay Equity: Mental Health And Addiction Workers To Be Included

Dr Clark met yesterday with unions and employers to confirm the Government has agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to mental health and addiction support workers. More>>


Hybrid Plan: America’s Cup Village Proposal Released

The proposal incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified last month, and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government. More>>


Sallies' State of the Nation: Poorest Left Behind in Economic Boom

This year’s report shows that for many New Zealanders incomes have hardly moved, welfare needs have increased and rents are rising faster than incomes. This comes despite more jobs being created and GDP rising... More>>





Featured InfoPages