New York:Hailing efforts of governments and international agencies in bringing bird flu under control, a top United Nations official has said that some countries, including India, continue to face outbreaks of the deadly disease.
Bird flu was under control in most parts of the world thanks to the efforts of the governments and international agencies, UN System Influenza coordinator David Nabarro told reporters yesterday.
He, however, conceded that some countries, including India, continue to face significant outbreaks of bird flu. It is still entrenched in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia. Overall, and had overall affected 60 countries.
Nabarro cited intensive action by South Korea and Britain to bring outbreaks under control, as well as financial sector exercises in Australia and the U.S. to prepare for the impact of potential avian influenza crises.
He said that governments had invested massively in improving conditions in which poultry are reared and had increased their focus on the link between animal and human diseases.
There had also been good preparedness work in the travel and tourism sector, as well as progress on updating international health regulations that countries adopt when faced with major health crises, he added.
Dr. Nabarro welcomed a donation by pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur of 60 million H5N1 vaccines which he said added to previous donations from GlaxoSmithKline and would help build a global stockpile of vaccines.
“We do feel that it’s prudent to continue to be prepared as genetic studies of bird flu virus show that it is continuously evolving, even though it hasn’t become capable of sustained transmission among humans,” he stressed.