Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Bird flu in Asia: control campaigns need to continue - Around 100 million birds died or culled

25 Feb 2004 -- International emergency meeting in Bangkok

Rome – New outbreaks of avian influenza are still occuring in some Asian countries, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today, stressing the need for continued control campaigns and tighter bio-security.

Countries affected by the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus are Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam. A less virulent virus was reported in Pakistan

”The situation in some countries is still unclear and further epidemiological investigations are required to get the virus under control,” FAO said.

FAO estimates that about 100 million birds have died or have been culled to battle the disease (Thailand 36 million, Viet Nam 36 million, China 5 million, Pakistan 4 million, Indonesia 15 million).

FAO has sent several disease experts to Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Pakistan, Thailand and Viet Nam to assess the local situation and assist countries in their battle against the disease.

The findings of these missions will be instrumental to understand the origin of the epidemic and the factors that lead to such a wide and massive spread of the virus.

Surveillance and control strategies should be continued, FAO urged, including elimination of all birds in infected production units and the strengthening of biosecurity measures.

Officials from 23 Asia-Pacific countries, international experts, donor and development organizations will meet in Bangkok, 26-28 February 2004, for a regional emergency meeting on bird flu to discuss control strategies and rehabilitation measures.

RAP 04/12

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