World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN team in China investigate SARS virus in animals

UN team in China to investigate potential presence of SARS virus in animals

A joint team of specialists from two United Nations agencies is in China to assist the government to design further investigations into a possible animal reservoir of the virus that causes the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The team from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) includes animal and human health experts, as well as specialists in tracking animal reservoirs for human diseases.

WHO's Pierre Formenty - who co-leads the team with the Director of China's National Institute of Communicable Disease, Xu Jianguo - stressed that the investigation remains a work in progress and that the mission's objective is to determine what further studies are needed to explore the potential for an animal reservoir and possible transmission to humans.

"The mission is not intended to provide a definitive answer about an animal reservoir for the SARS coronavirus," Dr. Formenty said. "To be able to implement SARS control and prevention measures, we need to know where it comes from. But unfortunately, a lot of question marks still remain; and as with other diseases, it could be years before the animal reservoir is discovered."

The experts visited Guangdong Province - where the disease first occurred late last year - from 13 to 19 August to conduct field visits to markets and farms, research centres, and human health facilities. The team returned to Beijing yesterday where it is expected to report to senior government officials tomorrow.

It is unknown whether SARS will return in November, when the cold weather season in China begins. And while comprehensive data will not be immediately available, even limited information will prove useful in combating the disease.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news