Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mideast Nations Must Be on Alert for Bird Flu, U.N. Says

Nations of the Middle East need to brace themselves for the possibility of bird flu outbreaks, according to a top U.N. official monitoring avian influenza, now that the disease appears established in Turkey.

U.N. Coordinator for Avian Influenza David Nabarro said January 11 that government officials in nations bordering on Turkey need to be concerned about their capabilities to control animal disease and to launch public education campaigns about disease.

The first human cases of H5N1 – the viral strain first identified in Asian poultry and now moving westward – appeared in Turkey in early January.  The official number of cases confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) stood at 15 on January 10, but some media reports say more than 40 cases of human illness are being investigated as possible bird flu infection in humans. Health officials warn this widespread animal disease could escalate into an influenza pandemic among humans. SOURCE

Posted by john T. on 01/12 at 09:59 AM
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