Success Against Bird Flu Slowed by Ongoing Animal Infections

US - Potential for pandemic exists as long as bird flu virus lives in poultry
calendar icon 6 July 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Despite the eradication of avian flu viruses in poultry in many countries, and reductions in the prevalence of infection in others, the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain continues to threaten bird and human populations around the world.

This finding was among the conclusions reached in Rome June 27-29, at the International Technical Meeting on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Human H5N1 Infection. The 115 participants included representatives of 15 countries, many international and regional organizations, and 24 independent experts.

The meeting comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 317 people have been infected with avian influenza since 2003 and 191 have died.

A recurring theme throughout the meeting was that there is no room for complacency about bird flu, said Ambassador John Lange, the U.S. State Department's special representative on avian and pandemic influenza, during a July 2 USINFO interview.

"The H5N1 virus is highly persistent," he said, "it is spreading in poultry populations, and the threat that it will mutate to become a human pandemic continues."

Source: NewsBlaze
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