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Friday, April 16, 2010

H5N1 - Bird flu: Deadly threat 'persists in five countries'

Via ADN Kronos International, while H1N1 is gathering news worldwide, H5N1 is slowly crawling back into the limelight.

" The deadly H5N1 avian flu virus has been eradicated in almost all the 63 countries it infected at the peak of the world outbreak in 2006, but persists in five countries and poses a continuing threat to global animal and human health.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation's chief veterinary officer, Juan Lubroth said despite the considerable success achieved against H5N1 bird flu virus, it remained in Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China.

“The progressive control of H5N1 in such countries remains an international priority,” Lubroth said.

“Though public attention shifted to the H1N1 influenza pandemic for most of 2009, H5N1 continues to be a serious menace.

He was speaking ahead of an international conference on animal and pandemic influenza to be held in Vietnam on Monday.

“We should not forget that it has killed 292 humans, killed or forced the culling of more than 260 million birds, caused an estimated 20 billion dollars of economic damage across the globe and devastated livelihoods at the family-farm level," he said in a statement."

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