Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bird Flu Experts Still Fear Global Pandemic

Scotland is hosting an international summit on bird flu, amid growing fears that the threat of a global pandemic has not abated.

From The Scotsman :
It has been organised by the Avian Flu Task Force under the United Nations' international convention on migratory species, and includes delegates from Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

They will review outbreaks of avian flu around the world, which have led to the deaths of 191 people since 2003, and examine issues including the surveillance of wild birds in relation to the disease.

Delegates will also discuss contingency planning and response strategies for outbreaks and what information is needed to understand potential infection routes and further local spread.

Professor Colin Galbraith, director of policy and advice at Scottish Natural Heritage, who is a member of the task force, said: "Bird flu is one of the biggest international challenges that exists today. It knows no boundaries. Scientists across the world must work together to understand the nature of the disease and to contain any outbreaks.

"It is crucial there is ongoing contact between countries and we share and learn from each other. The range of delegates and countries represented is a reflection of the seriousness of this issue across the world."

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