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» 10/24/2005 14:28
Bird flu: China and Thailand want tighter controls on bird farming and human housing
Early reporting is seen as key to containing outbreaks. Domestic bird vaccination continues. Tomorrow in Ottawa, ministers and experts from around the world meet to discuss the crisis.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – As health ministers and experts from 30 countries start gathering in Ottawa (Canada) for a two-day conference on how to improve preventive measures and cooperation against the dangers of bird flu pandemic, China and Thailand have stepped up their monitoring of farms and even houses.

The meeting in Canada will be the first to bring together health ministers and experts from around the world, as well as representatives from the World Health Organisation, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Organisation for Animal Health to discuss the bird flu.

Experts believe that it is impossible to stop the virus from spreading among birds, passed on by migratory birds and or via the trade in exotic birds.

They stress that there is no immediate risk of human-to-human contagion, but Canada is still reeling from a SARS outbreak, which killed 44 people in Toronto in 2003 and cost it nearly US$ 1 billion.

In Copenhagen experts from 50 countries will also gather today to assess the response to bird flu after it appeared on the old continent two weeks ago.

Asian countries have already adopted strict measures after the H5N1 virus caused the death of thousands of birds and forced the authorities to cull hundreds of millions more. In Asia there is a risk that the virus might mutate, making human-to-human transmission possible.

China. China has increased internal and border checks after the Health Ministry warned a few days ago that the "danger of the fatal disease spreading to human beings exists".

Farms and markets as well as homes are being inspected for infected birds. This comes in the wake of an outbreak in Inner Mongolia that left 2,600 chickens dead and forced the authorities to cull another 91,000.

Special steps have been taken to secure Beijing, including airports, bus and train stations.

Beijing Deputy Mayor Niu Youcheng said that in the capital all poultry and domestic birds have been vaccinated, while 98 per cent of poultry raised on farms around Beijing have been as well.

More than 60 surveillance stations, equipped with advanced telescopes, have been set up around the city's key waterways to keep a close watch on migratory birds.

Thailand. Some 900,000 volunteers are going house to house to check for cases of animal or human contagion. People found infected are hospitalised. Health Minister Suchai Charoenratanakul said inspections are coordinated by 9,700 local health offices whose task is to prevent outbreaks. Studies are underway to find ways to separate human housing from bird stocks.

Pakistan. No cases have been announced so far, but health authorities warn that the country lacks emergency plans and monitoring systems.

United Arab Emirates. In Abu Dhabi food control authorities have banned the sale of life birds and imposed strict hygiene rules. Poultry can be sold only in a newly created central market place.

Iran. Gulfnews reports today that over 5,000 migratory birds were found dead in Western Azerbaijan province on the border with Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan. Cars coming from Turkey are being sprayed with disinfectant and hunting and capturing of live birds have been banned in the western parts of the country.

Russia. A new hotspot has been found in the Tambov region, Marshanski district, 480 km south of Moscow, where 14 chickens raised in a henhouse close to a home died. The Agriculture Minister ordered all domestic birds in the area culled. Since last July, over 600,000 chickens have been culled in Russia. (PB) 

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See also
10/18/2005 ASIA
Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
10/27/2005 ASIA
Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
11/10/2005 ASIA
Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia
11/30/2004 ASIA
Avian flu pandemic feared
10/28/2005 CHINA – ASIA
In China no information about the dangers of the avian flu
WHO denies exaggerating bird flu pandemic threat
Avian flu: chicken farms to be inspected in Hong Kong
Bird flu risks stopping Turkey's economic growth
There is no evidence that Tamiflu works against bird flu
Bird flu: more than 1.5 billion dollars needed to stem infection
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EU says Turkey's bird flu is lethal H5N1 strain
Bird flu at the gates of Europe, second death in Turkey
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Bird flu feared more virulent in Eastern Europe than in Asia
WHO: China may have unidentified bird flu outbreaks
Bird flu: in China WHO says many human cases unreported
Sixth human case of bird flu in China
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Farmer who blew the whistle on bird flu outbreak is arrested
WHO urges China to share H5N1 virus samples
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Asia-Pacific Rim leaders urge common action against avian flu
More outbreaks and human bird flu cases expected in China
China admits to first human case of bird flu
Avian flu: China might not be reporting every outbreak
Bird flu: scientists fear the virus has become "more contagious"
New human bird flu cases suspected in Vietnam and China
Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia
Prime Minister admits bird flu contagion peril
A new death from bird flu in Vietnam
China admits to three possible human cases of bird flu
Fifth bird flu victim in Indonesia
Bird flu pandemic would cost Asia 300 billion dollars
Pandemic would be a disaster for Asia's economy
In China newspapers can report on the bird flu only if authorised
Thai woman tests positive for bird flu
Bird flu in China very serious, say official sources
Two more bird flu deaths feared in Vietnam
In China no information about the dangers of the avian flu
Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
More birds infected in China but world leaders have few suggestions
Pandemic inevitable, say experts from around the world meeting in Canada
Beijing acknowledges bird flu situation is grave
Bird flu spreads and claims new victim in Thailand
Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
Asian battleground key to beating bird flu virus
China: an incubator of bird flu
World ill-prepared to face bird flu pandemic
Suspect death in Jakarta fuels global bird flu fears
Bird flu: Ankara tries to allay western fears
Avian flue pandemic could kill up to 300 million people
Indonesia's bird flu toll is rising
Bird Flu: Are there risks, cures?

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