Bird Flu: Threats on the Wing

Potential threats from new illnesses which might mutate from animal viruses could be as disabling as terrorism. With the international movement of people and products, no nation can afford to be complacent.

The World Today
Published 1 August 2005 Updated 15 October 2020 4 minute READ

Alan Bullion

Editor, AgraFood Asia

The bird flu outbreak that has recently killed over fifty people in Asia could spread to other parts of the world, experts have predicted. Bird flu has killed 39 people in Vietnam since it arrived in Asia almost two years ago, along with twelve Thais and four Cambodians. Nineteen of the Vietnamese victims have died since last December in the latest wave of virus infections, which seems to thrive best in the cool of winter.

Francois-Xavier Meslin of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that indications of possible changes in its clinical effects on humans and an increase in the number of reported clusters of human cases were worrying signs. The organisation is on alert for the possibility of a pandemic.

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