Bird Flu rears its head again

Major resurgence H5N1 possible

A new strain of the deadly Bird Flu virus is spreading across Asia and beyond with unpredictable risks to human health according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).  At least eight people have died in Cambodia this year after being infected with the bird flu virus.  Patrick Maigua Reports from Geneva.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation is calling for heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of the bird flu virus also known as the H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth says the new strain appears to be associated with migratory bird movements. He says wild birds may introduce the virus, but peoples’ actions in poultry production and marketing spread it. Bird flu virus is still firmly entrenched in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.  New cases have been reported in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal and Mongolia. FAO says no country can consider itself safe from the bird flu virus and preparedness and surveillance remain essential. The bird flu virus has infected 565 people since it first appeared in 2003, with at least 331 fatalities. The virus has caused the destruction of more than 400 million domestic poultry with an estimated economic loss of 20 billion dollars since 2003, before it was eliminated from most of the 63 countries infected at its peak in 2006.
 
Duration: 1’20″
Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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