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

 


WHO: Probe Of Bird Flu Cases Vital


Fast Probe Of Bird Flu Cases Vital To Prevent Human Pandemic, Says UN Agency

With Viet Nam confirming 10 more human cases of bird flu, bringing the total since mid-December to 24, 13 of them fatal, the United Nations health agency is stressing the critical need for full information to assess of the risks of a pandemic that in a worst-case scenario could claim tens of millions of lives worldwide.

“Rapid field investigation of each new case is essential to ensure timely detection of clusters of cases occurring in family members or health care workers,” the World Health Organization (WHO) says in its latest update.

“Such cases can provide the first signal that the virus is altering its behaviour in human populations and thus alert authorities to the need to intervene quickly,” it added of the H5N1 virus, which has caused 69 reported infections, 46 of them fatal, since the first human case linked to widespread poultry outbreaks in Viet Nam and Thailand was reported in January last year.

The agency has repeatedly warned that H5N1 could mutate into a new human virus with pandemic potential. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-20, which was not related to the present virus, is estimated to have killed between 20 million and 40 million people worldwide.

Nearly 140 million domestic birds have died or been culled over the past year in southeast Asia in an effort to curb the spread of the disease. WHO is concerned that continuing transmission to humans might give avian and human influenza viruses an opportunity to exchange genes, facilitating a pandemic. ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

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>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news