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Bird Flu Still Spreading In Asia

Bird Flu Still Spreading In Asia Despite Culling Of 80 Million Chickens – UN

Although some 80 million chickens have so far been culled to fight the Asian bird flu epidemic, the spread of the virus is still not under control in several countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

The agency called for continued vigilance as Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Laos reported new outbreaks in poultry.

At the same time, FAO hailed improvements in collaboration among affected States. “Countries realize that cooperation and transparency are absolutely essential for the fight against bird flu,” the agency said.

But while China, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam have set up information and response structures, the situation remains very difficult in some countries, especially the poorer ones which lack resources such as qualified veterinary staff, diagnostic tools and transport, it added.

The disease has spread to humans in Viet Nam, which has reported 19 confirmed cases, 14 of them fatal, and Thailand with 6 cases, 5 of them fatal.

Countries where outbreaks in birds have so far been confirmed are Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Viet Nam and Pakistan.

Veterinarians from more than 20 countries will gather for a UN-backed meeting from 26 to 28 February in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the economic impact of the avian flu crisis, strategies to control it, including emergency measures, and how to restore poultry industries and improve regional cooperation.

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