Bird flu prevention efforts could be thwarted
Researchers say that measures to prevent avian influenza in poultry
flocks could be compromised by poor international coordination, sloppy
management, and a lack of funds.
The new research
report, by Ilaria Capua and Dennis Alexander, is scheduled for publication in
the June 2006 issue of Avian Pathology. The report comments on the lack
of understanding about how the virus could spread and questions the effectiveness
of pre-emptive culling.
"As this study identifies, a universal
solution to the prevention and control of avian flu does not exist," the two
researchers stated. "A combination of different strategies must be used, on the
basis of the characteristics of the poultry industry at risk, which differs
around the world, and of the goals that can be reasonably
Meanwhile, an EU official yesterday said that EU members
need to appoint a special official to deal with the bird flu crisis and to
coordinate efforts to contain the disease's spread.
About 200 people
have caught the disease and 115 have died worldwide since its onset in Asia in
2003, according to the World Health Organisation.
The spread of the
virus in the EU has increased public fears about poultry, with consumption of
poultry meat dropping by more than half in some EU states, with some 300,000
tonnes now in storage.
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