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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bangladesh : Poultry vaccination plan triggers shock

Via BD News 24 :

" The government's move to vaccinate poultry against frequently changing avian influenza virus has 'surprised' experts because globally it is recommended not to use it for public health's sake.

Experts say the available vaccines in the world have been able to reduce poultry fatalities for some time, but the vaccinated birds' capabilities to transmit the disease 'silently' after being infected caused 'massive' human mortalities.

Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam had been vaccinating poultries but stopped after an influx of human fatalities last year followed when the virus also changed its strain.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas on Sunday told journalists that considering poultry farmers' 'long-standing demand' the government planned to 'experimentally' introduce the vaccine.

He said a committee had been formed to finalise the decision to that end.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) experts say they are 'surprised' by the move.

Mat Yamage, Chief Technical Adviser to the FAO Avian Influenza Control Programme, told bdnews24.com that earlier they 'warned' the government against using vaccines.

He said the situation where the vaccine once used was 'serious' and that 'there is no record of successfully controlling H5N1 with vaccines'.

"We would strongly say it should be discussed with technical experts."

Globally, it is recommended that poultry farms maintain bio-security to prevent the virus and government have measures for early reporting, rapid action, culling and surveillance to control avian influenza outbreaks."

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