FAO calls for sustained action on H5N1 and emerging infections
Although concerted international action has successfully eliminated the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus from poultry in almost all the 63 countries it infected at the peak of the world outbreak in 2006, it persists in five nations and thus poses a continuing threat to global animal and human health.
Speaking before the opening of an International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza in Hanoi next Monday, FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Juan Lubroth said that despite the considerable success achieved against H5N1 it was entrenched 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.