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December 07, 2005

WHO sees big gaps in bird flu surveillance

SINGAPORE, - The World Health Organisation's top bird flu expert in Asia said on Tuesday that a lack of equipment and expertise in the region's rural areas was limiting efforts to curb the spread of the disease. Laboratory facilities were limited in many countries, especially Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and China where humans live in close contact with domestic and wild fowl, Hitoshi Oshitani, the WHO's communicable disease expert in Asia, told Reuters. The H5N1 avian flu virus has infected more than 130 people in five Asian countries and killed 69 of them since late 2003. Scientists fear the virus may mutate into a form that could be easily transmitted between humans, sparking a global pandemic.

Posted by dymaxion at December 7, 2005 04:13 PM

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