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Cablegate: Avian Influenza Update: August 2006

VZCZCXRO9871
PP RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #5516 2430648
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310648Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1208
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 7823
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7548
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1248
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 8666
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9301
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2486
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS DHAKA 005516

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/ES-O/CMS, SCA,
PACOM FOR WILLIAM R. FRIESE- CHIEF CONTINGENCIES DIVISION

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT ASEC CASC AMED KFLU AEMR BG
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE: AUGUST 2006

REF: A. DHAKA 3887 AND PREVIOUS

B. STATE 115971

1. On August 21, the Mission Avian Influenza Working Group
(AIWG) met to discuss updates to the preparedness stance at
post and in-country. Success in Bangladesh will be the
result of improved surveillance and detection methods; the
USG is contributing significantly towards this goal.

2. Progress has been made on HHS-funded laboratory
improvements at ICDDR,B (ref A). CDC representative, Steve
Luby, reported that he aims to have an
internationally-accepted Biosafety Level Three laboratory in
operation by December. ICDDR,B is working with a reputed
contractor in Singapore to procure necessary equipment and
services. When completed, the lab would have the resources
to test up to 1,000 specimens for highly pathogenic avian
influenza each month. This private facility will increase
Bangladesh capacity to detect HPAI several years beyond
public sector plans.

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3. The Mission AIWG will continue to make preparations and
reach out to AmCits and mission personnel, in accordance with
USG guidance. The Consular Section has disseminated ref B
fact sheet as a warden message. In addition, the Health Unit
is participating in a program called, "Sentinel Human
Surveillance for Influenza in US Citizens from US
Embassies/Consulates in Asia," in conjunction with Armed
Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok.
Samples from consenting patients will be sent to Thailand for
H5N1 and other influenza screening. Regular flu prevention
information will be circulated, and employees will be
reminded not to come to the office with flu-like symptoms.

4. There were no significant updates from other donor
agencies. The Mission AIWG will meet again next month, or as
needed.
BUTENIS

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