Avian influenza still a threat in Africa

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The IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano addresses the Board of Governors. Photo: Dean Calma/IAEA

Avian influenza continues to be a threat in a number of African countries according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Also known as bird flu, the virus can cause death amongst humans as well as bird species, especially poultry.

Daniel Dickinson reports

Concern has been raised over outbreaks of the H5N1 avian influenza in Africa.

Poultry farms in West Africa have been recently hit by the virus.

Speaking at the UN agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria ,  Director General Yukiya Amano said support had been provided to a number of African countries.

"This year, following requests from several African Member States, Programme Reserve funds were quickly made available for five projects to strengthen national capacities to diagnose H5N1 avian influenza. We funded expert missions to help national laboratories to fine-tune their diagnostic capacities."

Nuclear technologies are used in the diagnostic process.

The H5N1 virus was reportedly first detected in humans in 1997 during an outbreak in Hong Kong.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 59"

Filed under Today's News.
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