Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Bird flu emergency far from over - Further spread and recurrence of the disease is most worrying

17 Feb 2004 -- Meeting on avian influenza control in animals in Asia
Bangkok, 26 to 28 February

Bangkok – The present bird flu emergency can not be considered under control as long as new spreading and recurrence of the disease is taking place in far off places in the Asian region. FAO and OIE are calling an emergency technical meeting on the control and eradication of avian influenza in animals in Asia – to be held in Bangkok from 26 to 28 February – which will formulate control measures to battle the crisis. Rehabilitation of the poultry sector will also feature on the agenda. Hosted by the Thai ministry of agriculture and cooperatives, the meeting is jointly organized by FAO and OIE, in collaboration with WHO.

A total of 80 participants from the region and international experts – will gather in Bangkok’s Chaophya Park hotel on Thursday 26 February for three days.

While the thrust of the meeting is on the immediate needs for the containment of the bird flu disease and its effects, medium- and longer-term needs will also be addressed such as economic impact, trade and the restructuring of the poultry sector.

Participants will be senior technical staff from affected and non-affected Asian countries dealing with animal disease control operations, epidemiology or diagnostic issues, together with international flu experts, economic and livestock policy analysts.

Despite massive efforts to stamp out the virulent avian influenza virus, the disease continues to spread in poultry producing areas in some Asian countries. FAO estimates the number of chickens culled at more than 80 million. The H5N1 bird flu virus has emerged in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, South Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam; while Pakistan, Taiwan province of China, and the US have reported lower pathogenic strains.

RAP 04/10

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