He said that the avian influenza
virus was likely to linger because it can survive in certain communities of birds without symptoms, and because it appears to be spread by both migratory birds and fowl trade.
Dr Nabarro, who was speaking at UN
World Headquarters in New York, said that although the virus had not spread as far as anticipated in Africa, 2006 still saw the highest number of bird flu deaths so far.
â€œIn 2006 we did see more than 30 countries reporting outbreaks,â€ said Dr Nabarro
, the Senior UN System Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza.
â€œUnfortunately the virus continues to affect humansâ€¦and the rate of human death is still distressingly high, with Indonesia increasingly becoming the country which causes all of usâ€¦ very great concern.â€
Africa also poses a major challenge to curbing the disease, he said, as recurring political and economic instability and lack of funding hamstring progress.
Dr Nabarro did commend the efforts made by countries to stem the spread of the virus and expressed satisfaction at fast-track responses to past outbreaks.