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News & features archive, 2006

19 December 2006, Rome - A nine-person team from the joint FAO/OIE Crisis Management Centre (CMC) is in the Republic of (South) Korea on a 10-day mission collecting epidemiological data from rural areas south of the capital, Seoul, where three recent outbreaks of avian influenza in domestic poultry occurred.
8 December 2006, Bamako/Rome - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization today welcomed additional funding from the international donor community to continue the fight against the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus. Some US$475 million was pledged today at the end of a major three-day international donor conference on avian flu in Bamako, Mali.
6 December 2006, Rome - The Government of Viet Nam decided early on to make the fight against bird flu priority number one. Because of that decision and the strong commitment that followed both from the government and from the international donor community, many veterinary experts today consider Viet Nam one of the most successful countries when it comes to containing the H5N1 bird flu virus.
6 December 2006, Bamako - Deadly H5N1 bird flu remains a "potent threat around the world ş both to animals an humans. The possibility of a human pandemic hangs over us," FAO warned today at a major donor conference in Bamako, Mali.
6 December 2006, Rome - It has been almost ten years now since the H5N1 bird flu virus was first isolated from a goose in China, and people are still dying from the disease while the deadly virus has spread to wild birds and poultry farms across Africa, Asia and Europe.
27 November 2006, Rome - Early identification of HPAI and the immediate culling of diseased or suspected animals are critical elements of reducing the risk of the disease spreading. The international community and national governments have responded to this challenge by establishing funding mechanisms to enable compensation to assist in this strategy. The report seeks to provide guidelines on good practice for payment of compensation as part of HPAI stamping-out strategies. It is meant for national and international managers and project staff involved in containing HPAI.
8 November 2006, Paris/Rome - According to a report in last week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the identification of a new H5N1 virus sublineage in poultry, this new virus sublineage, called Fujian virus, appears to have become the dominant strain of the H5N1 avian influenza circulating in parts of Asia. If the report is confirmed, this does not come as a surprise, FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said today.
12 October 2006, Rome - Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, today inaugurated a new FAO Crisis Management Centre (CMC) to fight Avian Influenza outbreaks and other major animal health or food health-related emergencies.
6 October 2006 - Avian influenza is a 'marker' of what can happen if insufficient attention is paid to animal health, especially when disease leaps the boundary between animals and humans, according to the U.N. system coordinator for influenza, David Nabarro.
6 October 2006 - The latest results of sequencing tests on virus isolates from poultry infected with avian influenza in Indonesia indicate that the virus is not mutating towards a more virulent strain that could attack humans and set off a pandemic.
26 September 2006 - FAO has launched a country-wide surveillance project funded by the European Union to identify outbreaks of avian influenza in Nigeria. The project, which will cost almost USD 653,000, aims to help eradicate the disease from Africa's most populous country.
25 September 2006 - 'Learning by doing' is the best way to get people involved in action to control avian flu in poultry, according to the official in charge of the coordinated U.N. system to fight the disease.
6 September 2006 - GPS transmitters attached to wild whooper swans are helping FAO scientists and their colleagues track the birds' journeys and shed light on how wild birds may be involved in the spread of avian influenza.
31 August 2006 - A group of avian influenza researchers has recently officially announced that they are lifting the curtain and sharing data in a move to help international efforts to understand the spread and evolution of the bird flu virus. In a letter to 'Nature' published 24 August, 70 scientists and health officials announced the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), designed to stimulate worldwide sharing of avian flu data.
31 August 2006 - The Indonesian government's recent decision to refocus its strategy in the fight against avian flu, by putting the emphasis on public awareness, disease surveillance and animal control measures, is an opportunity to reverse the situation in the country, says the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
30 August 2006 - In order to help prevent a possible outbreak of avian flu in Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO has just published a new handbook targeted especially to the region's small-scale poultry farmers.
21 August 2006 - Deadly H5N1 bird flu continues to threaten people, animals and economies in a growing number of countries, despite successful efforts in some countries to contain the spread of the virus, says FAO.
17 August 2006 - Laboratory confirmation points to both old and new isolates of the bird flu virus as sources of recent HPAI outbreaks in Southeast Asia, FAO said today.
16 August 2006 - World-famous actor and martial arts expert Jackie Chan warns children about the dangers of playing with sick or dead birds.
1 August 2006 - OFFLU, the OIE/FAO joint network of expertise on avian influenza, will systematically make avian influenza virus sequences accessible to the entire scientific community.
24 July 2006 - A global early warning system for animal diseases transmissible to humans was launched by FAO, OIE and WHO last week.
14 July 2006 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will send four veterinary specialists to Rome to assist the FAO in launching a new animal disease crisis management centre.
10 July 2006 - Avian influenza has been largely checked in Western Europe and much of Southeast Asia apart from Indonesia. But it is still expanding in Africa and will remain a threat for years to come, FAO Deputy Director-General David Harcharik reports.
July 2006 - In the avian influenza crisis that began in Asia in late 2003 and has now spread to Europe and Africa, FAO's roles are many. The Organization provides policy advice, strategy design, technical information and guidelines, contingency planning and technical assistance, training, equipment and supplies such as laboratory equipment, vaccines, agency and donor coordination and public advocacy.
1 June 2006 - Wild bird migrations play a role in transporting HPAI, but the virus is mainly spread by legal and illegal poultry trade.
1 June 2006 - FAO plans to monitor wild birds' migrations for advance warning of HPAI.
31 May 2006 - More generous support needed to protect animal and public health.
25 May 2006 - Sumatra: FAO investigating possible animal causes behind human cases of bird flu.
25 May 2006 - A scientific conference organized by FAO and OIE in Rome will examine the role of wild birds in spreading highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu.
22 May 2006 - Human activities not birds more likely to spread the virus
21 May 2006 - "Collaboration between FAO and the OIE is a dynamic process that is under constant evolution," according to Dr Jacques Diouf.
19 May 2006 -- The current avian flu crisis is not only an immediate, short-term problem, it is likely to be a continuing emergency that will last several years, says Joseph Domenech, FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer.
13 April 2006 - The OIE and FAO confirm that the animal species playing a role in the transmission and spread of highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza virus are essentially domestic and wild birds.
6 April 2006 - Despite the fact that bird flu has now been confirmed in 45 countries on three continents, efforts to combat the disease on poultry farms are slowly proving successful on many fronts.
28 February 2006 - Recent avian influenza outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have caused dramatic swings in poultry consumption, increased trade bans and sharp price declines.
22 February 2006 - The deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus continues to spread in poultry in Nigeria and could cause a regional disaster.
17 February 2006 - Growing concern that the bird flu virus H5N1 may spread to West Africa. The effects would be devastating.
13 February 2006 - FAO today qualified as "extremely effective" the control measures taken by Italian authorities following the discovery of the highly pathogenic avian flu virus in Sicily.
10 February 2006 - FAO and the OIE today called upon veterinary authorities in Nigeria to immediately close down poultry markets throughout Kaduna and Kano states and neighbouring regions.
8 February 2006 - The bird flu outbreak in Nigeria confirms the fears expressed by FAO that African countries are facing a high risk of becoming infected by the virus.
18 January 2006 - The avian influenza virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Near East regions through trade and movement of people and animals and could be further spread by migratory birds particularly coming from Africa in the spring, FAO arned today.
11 January 2006 - The highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus H5N1 could become endemic in Turkey, FAO warned.