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Cablegate: Avian Influenza Update

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKA #5970 2660840
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230840Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1743
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 7845
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7569
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1280
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 8691
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9342
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2494

UNCLAS DHAKA 005970

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU KSCA PREL WHO BG
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE

1. Post's Avian Influenza Working Group met Sept. 20 to
introduce and orient new members Dr. John Christensen (RMO)
and Calvin Levo (FMO) and to receive updates from sections.

2. FMO expressed a desire to explore increasing Post's
cash-on-hand supply as part of pandemic and general emergency
preparations. Based on currency devaluation of the BD Taka
and general convertibility/acceptability of the US dollar,
this would be in US currency.

3. RMO indicated Post will be receiving pneumonia vaccine
soon. Since pneumonia is the principle side effect that has
the highest mortality rate of influenza generally, the RMO
recommends all possible personnel get vaccinated. RMO
announced that their Flu Surveillance Program has had its
first candidate who met the following criteria: over 18 years
of age, flu symptoms and temperature over 100.5F in the past
week, and consent to participate. Samples were collected and
sent away for testing, with negative result for H5N1 strain
influenza. RMO also announced that Avian Influenza DVDs from
MED had been widely distributed to all sections at Post, and
arrangements had been made to show it to interested FSNs who
don't have access to TV/DVD players otherwise.

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4. CDC representative reported that $1.5 million has been
received for installing a true level 3 bio-containment
facility at the International Center for Dysentery and
Diarrhea Research ) Bangladesh (ICDDR-B) . ICDDR-B is now
working with specialty contractors from Singapore to move
forward with the work. He also informed the group of a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is in the approval
stages between ICDDR-B and the BDG Dept. of Livestock
concerning exact procedures ICDDR-B will follow for animal
surveillance and how those procedures will integrate with BDG
efforts. The MoU specifies that while results will be first
released to the BDG, they must also subsequently be released
to CDC and WHO. Finally, he also reported that the BDG
Ministry of Health has received a $375,000 grant to increase
its capabilities in human surveillance.
BUTENIS

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