And if bird flu hits Africa?

WHO warns of risk, emphasizes the need to strengthen the continent?s laboratory services

Stephen Pincock (Stephen.pincock@journalist.co.uk)
Jan 19, 2006
As avian influenza continues to spread from poultry to humans in Asia and Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Africa is at great risk of a pandemic, and urgently needs to strengthen its laboratory facilities to identify avian influenza in humans and animals.International experts, including the UN?s avian flu coordinator David Nabarro, have expressed concern in recent days that migratory birds or travellers may carry the virus to Africa from Turkey or other affected areas.Given these risks, UN Food and Agriculture Organization?s (FAO) deputy director-general David Harcharik said this week that African nations deserve special attention when it comes to improving preparedness for a pandemic. ?In Turkey, the virus has already reached the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and there is a real risk of further spread,? he said at a meeting in Beijing. Juan Lubroth, head of FAO?s Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) livestock component said...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?