Stamping out H5N1 avian influenza could take decades

Stamping out H5N1 avian influenza could take decades

21/04/2011

Eliminating the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus from poultry in the six countries where it remains endemic will take ten or more years, according to a new FAO report.

The report makes specific recommendations for each country regarding measures that should be taken over the next five years to move them towards virus elimination, and calls for a sustained commitment to eradication efforts both by governments where the disease remains endemic and by international donors.

At its peak in 2006, the H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1 HPAI) was reported in 60 countries. Today most have managed to stamp it out — but the virus remains firmly entrenched in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam due to a combination of three factors, according to the report.