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

 


Americas Must Prepare for Bird Flu, Agencies Urge

Americas Must Prepare for Bird Flu, UN Agencies And Partners Urge in New Drive

New York, Jul 25 2006 7:00PM

Though no cases of avian flu or its H5N1 virus have been reported yet in birds or humans anywhere in the Americas, United Nations health agencies and other partners today launched a new preparedness campaign for the disease, which they say could reach the hemisphere at any time and possibly mutate into a human pandemic.

“We need to be prepared for H5N1 to enter the Western Hemisphere, whether it is through wild birds or commerce or a combination of the two. We should take this interval to get prepared,” said David Nabarro, senior UN system coordinator for avian and human influenza, in a message taped for a two-day meeting of health experts at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) headquarters in Washington.

The new Inter-Agency Communication Framework for Avian and Human Influenza in the Americas sets forth a common approach for communicating with the media, government officials, the private sector and the general public, as part of ongoing efforts to prevent and prepare for avian and pandemic flu.

To date, H5N1 has been detected in birds in some 45 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, spreading to 30 of those countries in just the past six months. The disease has prompted the death or culling of more than 200 million birds and has cost $10 billion in economic losses in Asia alone. In 10 countries, the virus has infected humans, causing 231 cases and 133 deaths as of 20 July.

At the very least, the arrival of H5N1 in birds in Latin America and the Caribbean would represent a serious threat to the poultry industry. In addition, the virus could mutate into a strain that is easily transmissible between humans.

Polling in Latin America and the Caribbean shows low public awareness of the risks of avian flu, as well as widespread scepticism about the likelihood of H5N1 mutating into a human virus that could spark a pandemic. Few people in the region see the problems as requiring priority attention.

Among the goals of the communications campaign, the health experts plan to disseminate information on the spread of avian flu and actions to counter it, to build trust with public health officials and animal health officials, and to work with governments to bolster their own communications strategies.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

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:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news