From our Correspondent
JOYSAGAR, Dec 12: Sivasagar district administration has promulgated Section 144 CrPC in the district banning sale and entry of poultry products in the district. The step was taken following reports of the death of 70 chicks at a poultry farm at Akhoiphutia, about 5 kms from Sivasagar.
Veterinary officials said that blood samples of the dead chicks have been sent to Pune for conducting laboratory test. The exact cause of the death of the chicks will be known only after the tests, veterinary officials said.
Meanwhile, the district Veterinary Department has opened a 24-hour control room in Sivasagar to provide information regarding bird flue and also to get information from the public about the possible outbreak of bird flu in the district.
District Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department is maintaining a strict surveillance of poultry farms in the district with veterinarians carrying out checks on the poultry.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
From our Correspondent
New Delhi. Assam and Manipur in the areas affected by bird flu epidemic in Bhte in keeping with the red alert was declared and all the necessary medicines in sufficient quantities and the medical team of officials to the affected areas has been sent. The situation fully under control.
Central Health Services Director General Dr RK Srivastava said in an interview in Assam and Manipur bird flu epidemic Bhte taking seriously the government in the affected areas in both states have declared a red alert and concerned officials from the State Government's equal Contact is made.
He stated that the situation fully under control.
Both states of the affected areas for all the necessary medicines in sufficient quantities and the medical team of officials has been sent. Both states in areas affected by bird flu from eggs, livestock fodder and other poultry products, including Chicen send out the ban has been issued and its related orders have been given.
Dr Srivastava said that the beginning of this month, the Assam government in the state's bird flu outbreak in some areas after getting information from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, a team immediately left for the affected areas had been. He said that the deadly Avian influenza virus first state in Hajo of Kamrup district, were found.
According to Health Ministry sources from bird flu-affected areas in Assam kill Kukkton to destroy eggs and work is continuing. Until yesterday killed millions of Kukkton was gone and so destroy the eggs have been. With that in the affected areas ... the purchase of poultry products on sale has been banned.
According to information received from the Assam government yesterday to the state's bird flu Dibrugarh, Goalpara districts, including Bongigana and spread to many areas. Guwahati Kamrup and (urban) district and its surrounding areas Kukkton ... on the sale and purchase of eggs also been banned.
The government of trying to ascertain whether it is bird flu-affected migratory birds and not because of the movement is spreading. In Manipur, in the year Mapall to deal with this disease, rapid Arespon team was set up.
Meghalaya state government here has also neighbors of the spread of bird flu in Assam after the incident on December 9, Assam, West Bengal and in the international sector Simaatn ban on the import of poultry products given the order. The order in the state as a circumspection has been issued.
Last Updated[ 12/12/2008
That the decision to deal with the crisis in the entire Brahmaputra Valley birds Be killed. Because, at 20 degrees Celsius carrier of bird flu H 5 N 1 virus rapidly spreads.
Two and a half million chickens have been killed
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He said if this So people in the crisis spreads to deal with the infrastructure we have available Is not.
GUWAHATI: The Centre has asked the Assam government to speed up the ongoing culling operations in the State and strictly cordon off the affected areas to prevent spread of the bird flu outbreak.
The State government on Saturday increased the compensation to poultry owners affected by the surveillance restrictions.
N. Gokul Ram, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, told reporters here that during a meeting with Chief Secretary P.C. Sarma and other officials held here on Friday, he had requested the government to speed up the culling operations, do it in a comprehensive manner and complete it at the earliest.
Out of 9 locations in six districts notified by the Ministry as bird flu affected areas, culling operations had been completed in five. Mr. Ram said culling operations were expected to be over by December 16 in the four other locations. Large scale mortality of birds had also been reported in Lakhmipur and Sivasagar districts. Samples from these two districts had been sent for laboratory tests and reports were awaited.
Till Friday, an estimated 3.18 lakh birds had been culled, 1.8 lakh kg eggs and 11,000 kg feed stock were destroyed in the five locations. An estimated 1.5 lakh birds more would be culled in the remaining four locations.
Assam Health Minister and State government spokesman Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government would bear the additional cost burden due to revision of the compensation amount. The enhanced rates would be Rs. 90 for each layer bird, Rs. 80 for each broiler bird and Rs. 125 for each duck. The old rates were Rs. 40 for broiler bird, Rs. 50 for layer bird and Rs. 75 for duck. The Central and the State governments shared the compensation equally.
In addition to compensation for culled birds, the government announced a one time maintenance cost of Rs. 10 each bird to those poultry owners affected by the ban on movement of poultry and products and closure of poultry and eggs markets within 10 km radius of infected sites.
Commissioner, Animal Husbandry, Assam government, Shyamlal Mewra said that so far Rs. 95 lakh had been paid as compensation to the owners of culled poultry. He said losses would run into several crores but the actual figure would be known only after the culling operations were completed.
BY MANOJ ANAND
Dec. 13: With avian flu spreading to new areas in Assam and the neighbouring state of Meghalaya, Union animal husbandry and veterinary secretary N. Gokul Ram, who was here to take stock of the situation, has ruled out the fears of the deadly virus spreading to humans.
Stressing the need of expediting the culling drive here on Saturday, Mr Ram told reporters: "We have not come across any such cases of avian influenza spreading to humans."
Contrary to what regional director (Northeast) of the Central health and family welfare department Parthajyoti Gogoi claimed, that about 150 people were treated for fever and upper respiratory tract infections in bird flu-hit areas, Mr Ram asserted: "We are keeping a close watch over development as over 90 teams of experts are keeping a close watch on the situation in flu-hit areas."
He said that they have identified two new districts in Assam — Sibsagar and North Lakhimpur — where unnatural death of birds have been reported on Saturday. Though the virus is spreading across the state, people dealing with poultry are still reluctant to cooperate. Twenty-four hours after the Guwahati administration banned the sale of poultry products following fresh outbreak of bird flu, roadside vendors were seen selling eggs and chicken in Guwahati on Saturday.
The vendors said: "What should we do? We are still getting supplies. No one has told us anything." The ban on sale of poultry products obviously hasn’t worked on ground in the state.
The Central government team, which is here to monitor the situation, also admitted this and said: "We have conveyed our area of concern to the chief secretary of the Assam government on Friday."
The Central government team has also asked the Meghalaya government to enhance the vigilance in the bordering areas as virus was spreading to poultry across the state. Mr Ram said that they have set the target of completing the culling operations by December 16 in the state.
Posted: Dec 14, 2008 at 0016 hrs IST
Fifteen days after the Assam Government failed to bring avian influenza under control, the Centre on Saturday directed the state Government to mop up culling operations in three days so that it did not spread to newer areas in the region.
Culling operation of fowls have been also initiated in four places on the Meghalaya side of Khanapara late Saturday evening. Meghalaya Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department Director Dr D Khonglah said about 3,000 fowls were going to be culled. Meghalaya had recently imposed a ban on import of chicken and poultry products.
A high-level Central team headed by N Gokulram, secretary, department of animal husbandry in the Agriculture Ministry on Friday met senior Assam Government officials.
While the first case of bird flu was confirmed and notified at a village in Kamrup, Assam, on November 27, it has since spread to at least nine locations in six districts in the state.
The possibility of migratory birds having brought the virus has not been ruled out. The Central team also did not rule out the Bangladesh route, as one of the several possibilities.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here that the compensation has been raised to Rs 80 for broiler chicken, Rs 90 for local chicken and Rs 125 for ducks and the additional burden would be borne by the state government.
The state government has so far made a payment of Rs one crore as compensation with more than 3.70 lakh birds culled and by December 16 more than five lakh birds would be slaughtered, Sarma said.
All birds in the area from the epicentre of the disease to a three km radius have to be culled while those beyond three km to 10 kms is under surveillance and its rearers would be provided with Rs 10 per bird daily for its feed.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a high-level meeting held last night decided to set up a state-of-the-art sample centre in the state on the lines of Bhopal-based Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory as much time was lost in getting the samples tested outside the state, the minister said.
The state government would also provide interest subsidy to those poultry farmers who have taken loan for their business and there was also a plan to rehabilitate them economically under the Assam Vikash Yojana, he added.
— Outbreak of the dreaded bird flu or avian influenza is assuming alarming proportions in the State, with more and more areas coming under its grip. First detected in lower Assam areas, the disease has spread rapidly to different places, including State capital Guwahati and the upper Assam district of Dibrugarh. Apparently, the steps taken to check its spread have not yielded the desired results but the worst can happen if the virus were to infect humans. Such a situation is fraught with catastrophic consequences, and could cause a global pandemic. The State Government has already made known its helplessness in the event of a full-fledged bird flu transmission to humans. Besides mobilising its own resources, the State Government should try to extract as much Central assistance as possible to enhance its preparedness. With suspected cases of bird flu in humans already reported, every possible effort must be made to prevent its further spread. The rapid spread of the disease across the State has shown that the implementation of the ban on sale of poultry has been far from effective. Initially the ban was more in the form of an appeal to traders to desist from selling poultry without backed by strong punitive measures for violation. The awareness level on various aspects of the disease, too, had been low, with the result that the people were casual about the threat perception.
With the situation deteriorating, the State Government would do well to ensure foolproof monitoring of poultry across the State. A hard crackdown on clandestine sale of poultry – the biggest factor behind bird flu’s rapid spread — is an urgent need. A majority of the poultry owners rear their birds in small backyard farms, making them highly susceptible to the disease. Large quantities of virus discharged by the infected birds in the form of stool, urine and saliva stand exposed in the environment, creating a fertile ground for its transmission. The virus’ high lethality and virulence, its endemic presence, its increasingly large host reservoir, and its significant ongoing mutations, make it the world’s largest current pandemic threat. The public also needs to avoid using poultry as food. This is because although well-cooked chicken or duck may be safe to consume, physical contact with infected poultry or objects contaminated by their faeces or saliva is the main route of the virus to afflict humans. The wetlands of the State must be monitored constantly to detect abnormal behaviour of birds, including migratory ones. Volunteers of NGOs can help the Forest personnel in ensuring this much-needed vigilance.
GUWAHATI, Dec 12 – The Chief Minster today directed the departments concerned to take all necessary measures to bring bird flu under control and to prevent its transmission to humans. The Chief Minister who was reviewing the bird flu-related situation with his Ministerial colleagues and senior officials at Dispur, also directed the Veterinary and Health Departments to work together to prevent a disaster.
Disclosing this, official sources here said that the Chief Minister has also directed administration to prohibit forthwith inter-district transportation of poultry and poultry products and made an appeal to the people to cooperate with the authorities in the culling operations. The meeting also decided to enhance the compensation rates of poultry to Rs 80 for each of the broiler variety of fowls, Rs 90 for each of the local variety of fowls, Rs 125 for each of the ducks and Rs 15 for each of the chicks and ducklings.
Culling of poultry in the bird flu affected areas of the State is going in the State, barring the Hajo Revenue Circle areas, where the drive against the disease has already come to conclusion.
The Veterinary Department has been preparing to send more serum and floacal samples from other areas of the State to the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (HSADL) and the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV).
Meanwhile, sale, purchase and transportation of poultry and cooked and raw poultry products are prohibited in the Kamrup and Kamrup (Metro) districts. Similar prohibitory orders on sale and transportation of poultry and poultry products have also been promulgated in the other districts from where reports of bird flu prevalence have been reported.
The Basistha Police in the city arrested last night four persons while they were trying to transport 470 poultry to Meghalaya. The persons identified to be Nazir Ali and Muquddar Ali—both owners of the birds and abdur Rahim and Zehirul Islam respectively driver and handyman of the vehicle used in the case, brought the poultry from Barpeta and were heading to Meghalaya. A case has been registered against them (617/08) in the police station.
The Basistha Police also arrested two persons Rafique Ali and Md Sahidul Ali from near the Beltola Social Service Office while they were carrying 84 poultry in gunny bags today. A case (618/08) has been registered against them by the police station, said official sources here.
The Goalpara district administration has also promulgated a similar order prohibiting sale and transportation of poultry and poultry products from and to the district. The measure has been initiated as a preventive step, said official sources in Goalpara.
Official sources in Goalpara told this newspaper that the Veterinary Department in association with the district administration of Goalpara seized today two cartons of eggs at Dudhnoi while the eggs were carried to Meghalaya.
The Goalpara District Veterinary Office today sent 19 sera and floacal samples of poultry to the North East Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) for forwarding them to Bhopal HSADL and Pune NIV. Earlier, the District Veterinary Office had sent 171 sera and floacal samples to the NERDDL for the same purpose.
Collection of sera and floacal samples of poultry in the district is on, said the sources.
Our Correspondents add:
Mangaldoi: There is no report of occurrence of bird flu from any part of Darrang District. However, sale of poultry and poultry products is prohibited in the district for an indefinite period.
Bongaigaon: Culling of poultry started in the Dagtola, Kakragaon and Simalaguri areas of Chirang District today, along with the Tengaigaon area of Bongaigaon District.
The owners of the poultry are unhappy with the compensation amount and they are resenting it to be meagre compared to the market value of the poultry. They have another reason to resent the culling of their birds, as, to them, their birds are healthy apparently. The resentment of the villagers has caused delay in the culling operations.
Recombinomics Commentary 13:42
December 13, 2008
The above comment strongly suggests H5N1 has spread to two more districts in northeastern Assam (see updated map). Both districts share a border with Dibrugarh, where H5N1 was confirmed in an OIE report. Media reports indicate 40,000 birds are slated for culling this weekend, including most of the city of Dibrugarh, where H5N1 was confirmed. Moreover media reports indicate 120 birds “died all of a sudden on November 6” in Chiring Chapori, which would allow for significant spread prior to confirmation this week.
Moreover, media reports also indicate that culling of the entire Brahmaputra Valley is under consideration, which encompasses 21,900 square miles are covers most of Assam. As expected, the poultry deaths above begin to fill in the gap between confirmed cases in Dibrugarh in the northeast and Chirang in the northwest, where H5N1 has been confirmed.
There is concern of more rapid spread when the temperature falls below 68 F. Last season most of the reported H5N1 spread in West Bengal and Bangladesh was in January and February. H5N1 has been recently confirmed at two locations in northwestern Bangladesh and excessive poultry deaths have been reported across the border in Malda, West Bengal (see 2008 map).
Additional H5N1 confirmations are expected.
|Two more teams of experts on bird flue sent to state of Assam|
|Health 12/13/2008 4:57:00 PM|
Patients in six districts of the state of Assam were suffering from fever and respiratory infections, which are symptoms of the virus in humans, but "No human cases of H5N1 have been confirmed in the state. But we are on maximum alert," Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam's Health minister, said.
Two teams of federal medical experts, including epidemiologists and microbiologists, are keeping a close watch on humans in affected areas of the oil- and tea-producing state.
The medical teams brought supplies of equipment as a preventative measure in case the virus spreads to humans, including 10,000 Tamiflu capsules, 6,000 surgical masks and two ventilators.
"More medicines and equipment will reach here in the next two days to cope up with the situation," Sarma said.
Veterinary officials have slaughtered more than 300,000 chickens and ducks since late November, after the virus was detected in poultry last month in a village close to Guwahati.(end) fyf.ajs KUNA 131657 Dec 08
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 12: Unnatural death of birds has been reported from Naoboicha in Lakhimpur district today. Samples of the dead birds have been collected, and will be sent to Bhopal and Pune tomorrow for laboratory tests.
The Central veterinary team that arrived in the State today, on the other hand, held separate meetings with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Chief Secretary PC Sarma, State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Commissioner-Secretary SL Mewra, Animal Husbandary and Veterinary Director Dr AK Kakati and top officials of Forest and Health Departments. They reviewed the situation arising in the State due to avian flu and the preventive measures taken by the State Government.
According to sources, culling operation is going on in full swing in Guwahati, and such operations started in as many as 12 villages in the Bejera area in Kamrup district. Sale and movement of poultry birds and poultry products have been prohibited in a 10-km radius area taking Bejera as the centre. Kamrup DC RC Jain said sale and movement of birds have been prohibited in as many as 33 villages in North Guwahati.
In another development, as many as six people have been arrested by Bashistha police on charges of transporting poultry birds. Four of the six people were transporting poultry birds from Barpeta to Shillong.
According to sources in the State Zoo, carnivorous animals that have been regularly fed chicken have to be given mutton, and that led a number of animals to take less food.
So far bird flu has been confirmed in as many as six districts of the State — Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirang and Dibrugarh.
New Zealand-bred euthanized, 16 others quarantined in Felton
December 13, 2008
- State officials said Friday they are closely monitoring two horses from a quarantined Felton barn in which a case of equine herpesvirus-1 was found earlier this month.
The two horses have been moved into an isolation facility away from Barn 1 at Dovington Training Center, where they had been stabled with Tintabella N, a 7-year-old mare who first showed signs of equine herpesvirus-1 on Dec. 3. When symptoms worsened last Sunday, the New Zealand-bred was euthanized.
According to a Delaware Department of Agriculture press release sent out Friday night, the two horses were part of a group of 16 quarantined in the barn after Tintabella N's death. On Wednesday, one of the two horses developed a fever and was moved into isolation. On Friday, the state learned that blood and nasal swabs from the horse tested negative for EHV-1. A repeat sample has been taken, and the results are expected within 48 to 72 hours.
"False negatives can occur, and a second confirmation of the negative will give us more confidence that the horse's fever is not due to EHV-1 infection," state veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst said in the press release. She was not available for further comment Friday.
The second horse being monitored showed no clinical signs of the disease, but tested positive via a nasal swab. A blood sample tested negative, but the horse was also put in isolation and is being treated. No other horses are stabled at the isolation facility or on neighboring properties, state officials said.
According to Hirst, the 14 remaining horses in the quarantined barn tested negative for EHV-1 on both nasal swabs and blood samples.
Department of Agriculture spokesperson Anne Fitzgerald said Friday night that the quarantine of the Dovington barn will remain in effect for at least 21 more days. By law, the quarantine is 21 days from the last reported case. All the horses in the quarantined barn will be re-tested before the quarantine can be lifted.
Though New Jersey and Pennsylvania tracks have barred any horses from Dovington at their facilities, Dover Downs, the only Delaware harness track with an ongoing meet, has not banned horses from the non-quarantined barns at Dovington. Fitzgerald said she was not sure if that decision would be reconsidered in light of Friday's developments.
Tintabella N last raced at Harrah's Chester in Chester, Pa., on Nov. 24. Tintabella N had never raced or trained at Dover Downs.
Dover Downs harness racing manager John Hensley said track officials have great confidence in the decisions made by Hirst and the Delaware Harness Racing Commission.
Without proper containment, equine herpesvirus-1 can be deadly and wreak havoc on the racing community. In 2006, Maryland's thoroughbred racing industry came to a halt after an outbreak of the virus hit three Maryland tracks.
At the start of the outbreak, just two barns were put under quarantine at Pimlico. Within weeks, the Maryland Jockey Club put the entire track under quarantine after a horse in another barn at Pimlico became infected. Six horses died before the outbreak was brought under control.
Imphal, December 12 2008: TWO TRUCKS carrying consignment of poultry products including eggs and chickens brought from Andhra Pradesh were allowed to enter Manipur today by the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Government of Manipur after properly checking the consignment, and later arrived in Imphal.
A team of officials and doctors of the Department of Veterinary and AH accompanied by media persons today went to Mao gate in Senapati district where awareness programme on bird flu was conducted.
The team from Imphal led by Dr K Gopal, Specialist (Diseases), advised the local people there to take utmost precaution to prevent bird flu from spreading in Manipur.
The team also instructed the security personnel manning the first checkpost at Mao gate to thoroughly check all consignments being brought in from outside the state to see if any poultry products including eggs and chicks from Assam were imported in defiance of the ban imposed by the government of Manipur.
The team also gave the security personnel strict instructions to dispose of any chicken, duck, eggs and feeds if they were brought from Assam immediately.
The authority instructed veterinary officer posted at Mao, Dr Louis Hungray to remain alert.
The team then went to the check post at Khujuma in Nagaland where the officials requested the security personnel there to stop and not to allow any consignment of poultry products from Assam into Manipur.
The team found two trucks carrying consignments of poultry products specially eggs at Mao gate.
On checking the trucks, it was found that the two consignments were being brought from Andhra Pradesh.
After properly checking, the consignments were allowed to proceed to towards Imphal.
In the late evening, it was learnt that the two trucks have reached their destinations in Imphal.
The consignments belonged to O Merajao & Sons and N Joykumar Friendship Enterprises.
However, the officials instructed the concerned security officers at Mao check post not to allow any consignments of poultry products from Assam to enter Manipur.
Intellectual Property Watch
11 December 2008
By Kaitlin Mara
Details on the definition of “Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Biological Materials,” on the content of a standard material transfer agreement for virus sharing, and on the interconnection between a mechanism for virus-sharing and a mechanism for sharing of benefits from vaccine development have yet to be discussed or have been pushed until later in the meeting for more substantive discussion and hoped-for consensus.
These interrelated topics represent core differences between member states and thus are likely to be most difficult to resolve at the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Intergovernmental Meeting, gathering this week in Geneva from 8 to 13 December.
Member states have been meeting in working groups for the past two days to hash out language on a system for the sharing of viruses, for the sharing of benefits, and for governance and review of the PIP framework, and were meeting Thursday evening in plenary to discuss progress.
Yet there is still “confusion and lack of specific ideas” on what constitutes benefit sharing, a participant said, and most importantly disagreement over whether a system to share benefits would be voluntary or obligatory. The standard material transfer Agreement (SMTA), which will require any entity accepting “PIP Biological Materials” to abide by a set of terms and conditions as laid out in the agreement.
The SMTA is a binding contract forming an annex to a non-binding framework of recommendations, explained another participant. This adds a contradictory element to this week’s negotiation, and, said a separate source, means aspects of the framework not in the SMTA will carry significant less weight.
Defining ‘Biological Materials’
What the term “PIP biological materials” means is likely to be a key area of controversy, as it is essential to determining the scope of many provisions within the PIP Framework, notably the SMTA.
The chair’s text working definition is wide, saying the term includes:
“original clinical specimen believed to contain H5N1 or other influenza virus with human pandemic potential provided for the purposes of influenza testing and any material generated from that specimen by a [WHO network] laboratory, including virus isolates or related hybrid viruses created through laboratory techniques or resulting from laboratory techniques used on the clinical specimen, virus nucleic acid, virus protein and other parts of the virus, genes, gene sequence information, peptides, cells and cell parts and derivatives, functional subunits of the materials, expression products of the materials, purified or fractionated subsets of the materials, clones and sub clones derived from the materials, and antibodies, proteins and other biological materials derived, synthesized or otherwise obtained from the materials.”
But the United States in plenary earlier this week had proposed replacing that definition with one much narrower in scope:
“original clinical specimen of H5N1 or other wild type influenza virus with human pandemic potential provided for the purpose of risk assessment and influenza testing for the H5N1 sub type or other sub type of influenza virus with human pandemic potential; any virus isolate of the H5N1 subtype or other subtype of influenza virus with human pandemic potential; high growth reassortant viruses and candidate vaccine viruses generated therefrom.”
A US delegate explained to Intellectual Property Watch that the country’s main concern was to “maintain focus on public health and not politics,” adding that the broader definition invited debates on intellectual property ownership.
The US proposal is, the delegate said, the minimum needed definition to achieve public health objectives but also a definition the delegation felt could reach consensus this week.
“We thought with this minimum [definition] it might be possible to reach consensus,” the delegate said, adding “and hopefully convince member states that public health objectives should take priority over any IP agenda.”
But other member states worry that a narrower definition will reduce the scope of any outcome of this week’s intergovernmental meeting. An Indonesian delegate said the definition of biological materials should match the actual use of such materials in the development of technology. Samples of, for example, infected blood contain useful genetic material aside from just a wild-type virus. The definition should include all such material.
An Indian delegate said a concern of narrowing the definition is that it would provide a loophole to get out of obligations in a finalised PIP framework that uses the definition.
The Importance of Benefit Sharing
“If virus sharing is mandatory then benefit sharing should also be mandatory,” said the delegate from Indonesia, which is seen as a key demander of a benefit sharing system. This is because the country has had the greatest incidence of avian influenza, and counts many of the viruses and other biological materials countries seek to use in research as its genetic resources.
The South East Asian Region (SEAR) countries, represented by India, in a 9 December statement expressed dismay that the focus of discussions had “been towards consolidating the system, structure and mechanisms of virus sharing alone” while “benefit sharing has been relegated to the realm of the vague and the obscure.” Virus sharing alone, the statement said, “does not, to our understanding, deliver global public health protection in times of a pandemic.”
The Non-Aligned Movement of member states, primarily developing countries, also called for both a “recognition of the sovereign right of states over their biological resources” and “effective, transparent, fair and equitable benefits sharing.”
Others, notably the US and Japan, have questioned the express link between virus and benefit sharing. A US delegate explained to Intellectual Property Watch they were most concerned about a “one to one correspondence” between sharing a virus and receiving a benefit. Benefits should be globally applicable, the delegate said.
However, an Indonesian diplomat said that the country wants a multilateral system of benefit sharing and was uncertain where the “one to one” interpretation came from.
Meanwhile, WHO Director General Margaret Chan said earlier this week that for the WHO’s part, they will continue to “remind member states of remaining risk” for which not a single country is fully prepared.
Kaitlin Mara may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1st Translation (Toggletext)
New Mechanism discussions of the Virus Sharing Tired Kemajuan
Virus discussions sharing that was just, transparent and was equal in Intergovernmental Meeting that was held by WHO concerning Readiness of the influenza Pandemic or Pandemic Preparedness influenza (IGM –PIP) that took place between 7 – on December 13 2008 in Geneva, Swiss, advanced towards the formation of the international mechanism just, that is WHO Network influenza or the Network of Network WHO influenza (that replaced Global Surveillance Network influenza or the Network Surveilans Global influenza) to apply the virus system sharing and benefit sharing from the influenza virus H5NI
In IGM session gaps - PIP that took place 1 week, Indonesian Health Minister, Dr.dr. Siti Prominent Supari Sp.JP (K) said “pada IGM-PIP last year, we (the member countries) agreed to take the urgent step to build the new mechanism for the virus sharing and benefit sharing that was international. Virus influenza sharing that was just must apply Standard Material Transfer Agreement/Perjanjian Transfer of Standar Material (SMTA). Today I urgent so that the system benefit sharing was integrated into SMTA.
SMTA this will become the universal and global standard document and was current for all the transfers/transferred biological material readiness pandemic influenza. Has had the agreement generally that SMTA will become the agreement that his characteristics binding legally among sides in the agreement. The progress was made since IGM - PIP last year, as being reflected in SMTA that at this time was discussed and became the main aim of the representatives of the member countries to knock on the hammer agreed to SMTA at the end of this Sunday.
Menkes Siti Fadilah Supari admitted, the increase in knowledge and the understanding helped formed the framework of the mechanism of the virus sharing. Menkes RI also said, “kehadiran we (Indonesian delegation) here showed the intention and our efforts that seriously in overcoming the pandemic threat that bring up by avian influenza or bird flu, and to make the world of the place of the life that more baik”.
2nd Translation [google]
The discussion of the mechanism Reach New Virus Sharing Progress
12 Dec 2008
The discussion of virus sharing that is fair, transparent and equal in the Intergovernmental Meeting held on the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness or Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (IGM-PIP), which took place between 7 - 13 December 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland, moving forward to the formation of a new international mechanism, namely, WHO Influenza Network or Network WHO Influenza Network (which replaces the Global Influenza Surveillance Network or the Global Influenza Surveillance Network) to implement a system of virus sharing and benefit sharing of influenza virus H5NI.
In a hearing during the IGM - PIP, which lasted 1 week, the Health Minister of Indonesia, Dr.dr. Siti Fadillah Supari Sp.JP (K) said "the IGM-PIP years ago, we (Country members) agree to take urgent steps to build a new mechanism for virus sharing and benefit-sharing that is international.
Influenza Virus sharing must be fair to apply the Standard Material Transfer Agreement / Content Standard Transfer Agreement (SMTA). Today I urged that the benefit-sharing system is integrated into the SMTA.
SMTA this document will become the global standard and universal and apply to all transfer / transfer of biological material readiness of pandemic influenza. Already there is general agreement that the SMTA will be the agreement that are legally binding between the parties in the agreement.
Progress has been made since the IGM - PIP years ago, as reflected in the SMTA, which is currently discussed and the main purpose of the members of the State representatives to approve SMTA pound hammer at the end of this week.
Menkes Siti Fadilah Supari, and increased knowledge and understanding have helped establish the framework virus sharing mechanism. Menkes RI also said, "our presence (U.S. delegation) here shows the intention and effort that we seriously address the threat of pandemic established by the avian influenza or bird flu, and made the world a place to live better."
The views of the Minister of Health Dr Siti Fadillah Supari Sp.JP (K) supported by a majority of members in the country this IGM.
Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (IGM - PIP) is a process of meeting members of the State organized the WHO Secretariat to finalize negotiations on a new system of the H5N1 influenza virus sharing and sharing of benefits arising from the use of viruses and the part.
This information is by the Center for Public Communication Secretariat General of the Ministry of Finance. For more information, contact via phone number / fax: 021-522 3002 or e-mail address puskom.depkes @ gmail.com.
The mechanism of the virus sharing that was just, transparent and was equal continued to be fought for by the Indonesian government. Menkes Siti Fadhilah Supari that led Indonesian delegation in Intergovernmental Meeting that was held by WHO 7 – on December 13 2008 in Geneva, Swiss urgent was formed by him the international mechanism just. The forum that was named Pandemi Influenza Readiness or Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (IGM –PIP) discussed the international mechanism just, namely the Network of Network WHO influenza (that replaced Global Influenza Surveillance Network or the Surveilans Influenza Global Network) to apply the virus system sharing and benefit sharing from the influenza virus H5NI.
Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said that IGM-PIP last year, we (the member countries) agreed to take the urgent step to build the new mechanism for the virus sharing and benefit sharing that was international. “Influenza Virus sharing that was just must apply Standard Material Transfer Agreement/Perjanjian Transfer of Standar Material (SMTA) ,” he said in his official information in the press yesterday (12/12).
Menkes urgent so that the system benefit sharing was integrated into SMTA. SMTA this will become the universal and global standard document and was current for all the transfers/transferred biological material readiness pandemic influenza. “Already finished/done had the agreement generally that SMTA will become the agreement that his characteristics binding legally among sides in a promising agreement/a contract,” he continued. Siti explained that the progress was made since IGM - PIP last year, as being reflected in SMTA that at this time was discussed and became the main aim of the representatives of the member countries to knock on the hammer agreed to SMTA at the end of this Sunday. Menkes admitted that the increase in knowledge and the understanding helped formed the framework of the mechanism of the virus sharing.
The writer of this Saatnya Dunia Berubah book also said that the presence of Indonesian delegation showed the intention and efforts that seriously in overcoming the pandemic threat that bring up by avian influenza or bird flu. These Menkes views were supported by the member countries's majority to IGM this. Intergovernmental Meeting ounce Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (IGM - PIP) was a process of the meeting of the member countries that were organised by the WHO Secretariat to memfinalisasi negotiations concerning the system just shared the influenza virus H5N1 and shared the benefit that emerged from the use of the virus and the part a part.
At this time, especially in Yeh Kori, Bebandem, yesterday, just was carried out by the vaccination for the nonpedigreed chicken in order to avoids the poultry illness that was damaging like the expansion avian influenza (bird flu). Giving of the program of the chicken vaccination talk to for the livestock group apart from in order to prepare the group in the national level race, also in view of the fact that the susceptible nonpedigreed chicken was attacked by bird flu. The nonpedigreed chicken breeder in Karangasem enough almost each inhabitant, but still was traditional. While the breeder of the thoroughbred chicken has been independent and could vaccinate personally his livestock.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Dec 12, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported that a 19-year-old man from Cambodia has been hospitalized with H5N1 avian influenza, the country's first case in nearly a year and a half.
The man, from Kandal province, got sick on Nov 28 and first sought care from his local health center 2 day later, according to the WHO report. He is now listed as Cambodia's eighth H5N1 case, of which seven have been fatal.
Sok Touch, head of the ministry's communicable diseases department, said the man is in stable condition in a hospital in Calmette, the provincial capital, Reuters reported today. Kandal province is in southern Cambodia, just south of Phnom Penh.
Presence of the H5N1 virus in the man's samples were confirmed yesterday by the National Influenza Centre at the Institut Pasteur in Phnom Penh, the WHO reported.
Officials from Cambodia's health ministry are investigating the source of the man's infection, according to the WHO report. Ly Sovann, a ministry bird flu expert, said the man became ill after handling a sick chicken at his home, the Associated Press reported today.
The health ministry is identifying his contacts and providing them with antiviral prophylaxis, the WHO said.
Cambodia's last H5N1 case was reported in April 2007 when a 13-year-old girl from Kampong Chang province died after poultry deaths were reported in her village and after eating a sick chicken, according to a previous report from the WHO.
The country's latest case raises the WHO's global H5N1 count to 390 cases and 246 deaths.
Samples of blood have been sent for the test following the outbreak in the neighbouring districts of Assam. Additional District
Magistrate (D), Cooch Behar, Pannalal Mahapatra, said though there was no report of poultry death, arrangements had been made to disinfect vehicles coming from Assam. Officials of the Animal Resource Development department have sent samples of blood collected from different areas for laboratory tests — PTI
13-Dec-2008 04:10 hrs
A health worker wrings a chicken during a cull in the bird flu-affected area of Khanapara in Guwahati, the capital city of Indias northeastern state of Assam. Medical workers were going door-to-door to look for people with symptoms of avian influenza in northeast India Friday as the infection in birds spread further, officials said.
Medical workers were going door-to-door to look for people with symptoms of avian influenza in northeast India Friday as the infection in birds spread further, officials said.
The outbreak occurred in Kandal province, on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh, and is the first confirmed infection of the deadly H5N1 virus in Cambodia this year, the ministry of health and World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a joint statement.
"At this point, there's no information on further spread but we're awaiting the results of today's investigation," the WHO's Dr. Michael O'Leary told AFP.
Cambodia's ministry of agriculture was conducting an investigation Friday into poultry deaths around the village where the man was infected, while the ministry of health was examining people in the area.
It is the eighth confirmed case of bird flu spreading to a human in Cambodia. All previous cases in the country have died, but O'Leary was hopeful the man would survive.
"Roughly two thirds of confirmed bird flu cases around the world have died." O'Leary said.
The previous recorded bird flu infection of a person in the country occurred last year, when a 13-year-old girl died of the virus.
The WHO says the deadly H5N1 strain has killed nearly 250 people, mostly in Southeast Asia, since 2003.
Sixty URI Patients In Barpeta India Raise H5N1 Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary 22:44
December 11, 2008
So far, 60 cases of fever with URI have been detected in the 0-3 km radius area.
The above comments describe excessive upper respiratory infections with fever in the Barpeta district (see satellite map). Assam is setting up monitoring patients in the 0-3 km radius and 3-10 km radius around various epicenters of H5N1 infection. The update gives the number of people residing in the area, as well as how many have been surveyed.
The Barpeta district has 33,934 people, but only 6,032 were surveyed and 60 patients with symptoms were identified. In contrast, similar numbers for the target population were given for Nalbari (7,761/34,627), but only 1 patient with symptoms was identified. The smaller Azara block in the Kamrup district had 7,222 surveyed, and only 2 patients had symptoms.
Thus, the frequency of patients with symptoms is 30-60 fold higher in Barpeta than Azara or Nalbari, respectively.
These types of numbers are raising concerns that then region is not equipped to handle these patients, especially since less than 1/5 of the at risk population in Barpeta has been surveyed and Barpeta was one of the earliest outbreaks.
These numbers of symptomatic patients are cause for concern.
H5N1 Spread to Malda West Bengal
Recombinomics Commentary 21:42
December 12, 2008
A panchayat leader said the “chickens got drowsy and died”. Villagers complained of dead birds being dumped all over. “Children are playing with them.”
The above comments strongly suggest H5N1 has spread to West Bengal. Malda is a border town and is about 30 miles from the confirmed H5N1 in Naogaon, Bangladesh (see updated map). Last season, there was extensive culling in Malda. It was one of the first confirmed locations. Meghalaya had warned of H5N1 in multiple locations in West Bengal and Bangladesh, and recent reports have confirmed the warning.
Thus, even though an alert has been sounded for West Bengal, and chickens are dying, there is no testing and dumped dead chickens are increasing the risk off spread to people and wild birds. This response is similar to the delays and minimal testing last season in West Bengal.
The outbreak this season is considerably earlier than the record breaking outbreaks in India and Bangladesh last season, but the daily reports of new outbreaks in Assam indicate that more reports will be filed soon in adjacent regions in India and Bangladesh.
Malda, Dec. 12: The government has sounded a north Bengal alert following a bird flu outbreak in Assam, but at least 250 chickens have died in a Malda village in two days and no sample has been sent for tests.
A panchayat leader said the “chickens got drowsy and died”. Villagers complained of dead birds being dumped all over. “Children are playing with them.” Over 30,000 chickens had died in Malda in January and nearly two lakh were culled. The flu struck Assam less than a month after India declared itself free of the disease. Two teams from Delhi will join three already in that state to assist in human surveillance.
[Info on Malda:
"The district Head quarter town is located 365 km north of Kolkata & 260 km south of Siliguri. Lying on the confluence of the Mahananda and Kalindri rivers he Malda town rose to prominence as the river port of the Hindu capital of Pandua. Malda is a base for visiting Gaur and Pandua. Map: http://www.north-bengal.com/places/malda/map.htm]
Kampong Chhnang province
Prices are down by nearly half from earlier this year, pushing Kampong Chhnang chicken farmers to the brink of bankruptcy
CHICKEN farms in Kampong Chhnang province are being forced into bankruptcy by a decline in the price of chicken and the quality of imported chicken feed, according to local farmers.
Farmers have complained that their birds are being killed by low-quality feed from Thailand and that any birds that survive to maturity were fetching less and less on the open market.
"I just closed my chicken farm in early [November]," said Sok Phea, 47, a chicken farmer in Tuol Kh'schach village, Rolea Piear district.
Sok Phea said that about a quarter of his 8,000 birds had fallen sick and died since he started large-scale chicken farming in May and dismissed suggestions the deaths of local birds were being caused by avian influenza.
"My chickens died after I had them eat low-quality chicken feed imported from Thailand," he said. "It was not caused by avian influenza."
During bird flu outbreaks in Cambodia over the past few years, thousands of poultry have been culled and several chicken farms closed down to avert the spread of the lethal H5N1 virus.
According to Ly Sovann, deputy director of the Communicable Diseases Control Department at the Ministry of Health, seven Cambodian people died of the H5N1 virus between January 2005 and the end of 2007, but that there had been no reported instances of bird flu so far in 2008.
"However, we are always careful, especially from January to April, because it is the cold season," he said.
Sok Phea said the death of his chickens and the low market price were forcing his business and others to the brink of bankruptcy.
"After just five months in the chicken business, I lost about US$7,000," he said, adding that he had sold chicken for more than 12,000 riels ($3) per kilogram earlier in the year to around 7,000 riels in November. The drop had been triggered by a flood of cheap chicken imports from Vietnamese and Thai poultry farms, he said.
San Dina, 23, another chicken farm owner in Rolea Piear district's Khsam village, started raising chickens about six months ago, and claimed he has lost between $1,000 and $2,000 for each of his first three generations of birds.
He added that his profits had been decimated by falling market prices and that, like Sok Phea, many of his chickens had died because of low-quality imported feed.
"My business could be bankrupt soon if the market price remains low," he said. "However, I am still struggling to continue raising the chickens."
Meanwhile, Sok Phea said he plans to stop raising chickens until it again becomes profitable to do so.
"I will start farming again when the market price is higher and imported chicken feed is of a higher quality," he said, adding that only one of Kampong Chhnang's four chicken farms is still operating.
Officials at the Ministry of Health have called on residents to undergo checks for avian influenza if they are beset by worrying symptoms during the upcoming cold season. "I would like to call on all Cambodians and foreigners to check their health at the nearest health centre as soon as they contract a cold," said Ly Sovann, deputy director of the ministry's communicable diseases control department. He said the cold season, which lasts from January to April, presents a higher risk of a bird flu outbreak.
12 Dec 2008, 2055 hrs IST, PTI
GUWAHATI: Nearly three lakh chicken have been culled and more than 3.5 lakh people are under surveillance in nine districts of the state affected by bird flu.
Regional Director of Union Health and Welfare Department Parthajyoti Gogoi said that so far birdflu has not affected any person and 150 persons suffering from fever and upper respiratory infection (URI) in the affected districts were found not to have been infected by the virus.
However, the health authorities were keeping more than 3.5 lakh people in the nine districts under surveillance and four central teams of three doctors each were camping in the state to provide assistance to local doctors, he said.
The central teams are camping in Kamrup, Barpeta, Nalbari and Hajo in Kamrup(Rural) district.
The health workers have also been urged to cooperate with the veterinary workers involved in culling operation in the affected districts of Kamrup (Rural), Kamrup (Metro) including Guwahati, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Baksa, Dibrugarh, Goalpara and Bongaigaon.
There was adequate stock of Tamiflu, surgical masks, personal protection equipment, N-95 masks and ventilators which are being provided to members of the culling team, Gogoi added.
Over 2.6 lakh fowls have been culled in Assam so far where flu bird has reached an alarming proportion affecting nine districts till date. The state veterinary and animal husbandry department have engaged over 400 rapid response teams in the on-going culling operation.
The first incidence of bird flu was reported in a village under Hajo revenue circle of Kamrup districts on November 27 last. Immediately, the state veterinary department launched culling operations in surrounding areas. However, fresh reports of incidence of the disease continued to pour in from new areas.
The avian influenza has taken even spread to the state's capital city where the dreaded virus was detected among poultry birds in a government run farm. The state government has sounded alert over sale and consumption of the poultry products in the state while sale of the same has been banned in all affected districts, according to an official source.
Meanwhile, the government in the neighbouring has imposed ban on import of poultry products through Assam in the wake of outbreak of the avian influenza.
Meghalaya Veterinary department has collected samples from domestic fowls to check presence of stains of deadly H5N1 virus (bird flu virus).
With bird flu spreading to new areas in the state, Assam health department has pressed the panic button saying that it was not adequately equipped to handle large scale transmission of bird flu to humans.
The state health officials are closely monitoring upper respiratory tract infection � a symptom of bird flu -- detected in humans in different bird flu affected areas in the state. However, it was yet to be confirmed whether these URI cases were really transmitted from affected poultry birds or not as none of the affected persons had any history of coming in contact with bird flu affected poultry birds, a senior health department official said.
Central health department teams comprising doctors, epidemiologist, and microbiologists have fanned out to some of the bird flu affected areas in Kamrup and Nalbari districts of the state under the supervision of the Regional Directorate of Health and Family Welfare to monitor the situation on daily basis.
China news agency, Zhuhai, December 11 (Deng Yuan and Wen Zhangbiao) - Hong Kong chicken farms in Lau Fau Shan, a recent outbreak of bird flu, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced on the 9th bird flu alert level was promoted by the alert seriously. Zhuhai Inspection and Quarantine Bureau was informed that the Hong Kong bird flu, to take prompt measures to raise the alert to prevent and control bird flu.
Today, reporters from the Zhuhai Inspection and Quarantine Bureau was informed that the Hong Kong outbreak of avian flu, on the one hand, the Bureau actively cooperate with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government measures to dispose of the epidemic, Zhuhai area immediately suspend the supply of live poultry in Hong Kong, Zhuhai and the other on the area of all live poultry for Hong Kong and Macao registered Farm chickens immune to carry out a comprehensive pathogenic H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza monitoring and monitoring of the immune antibody.
At the same time, the council also urged corporate culture in strict accordance with the requirements of conservation, the use of bird flu vaccine to ensure immunity effect. And require close corporate culture farms surrounding the activities of migratory birds, and take effective measures to avoid the disease through imported birds.
In addition, it has also strengthened with the Macao Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau to communicate and work together to protect the quality and safety of live poultry for Australia. And from the ports to strengthen the areas of transport and air back to the quarantine cages disinfected.
该 Person in charge of the Bureau, as of December 8, Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of Zhuhai in the area for registration of live poultry farms in Hong Kong and Macao to take 510 copies of the pharynx anal swab of paper, 392 birds were carried out blood The pathogenic avian influenza antibodies and immune pre-export testing, no outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, H5N1 avian influenza immunization antibody levels were all in compliance with state regulations require.
Shenzhen newspaper yesterday, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Bureau of Shenzhen City announced that, after the city within the scope of inspection, Shenzhen poultry found infected with bird flu.
It is understood that since the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced on the 9th of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Bureau of Shenzhen City on the 10th morning, immediately held an emergency meeting to study the deployment of highly pathogenic avian influenza prevention and control of the city, urged that all units And departments to take immediate action to effectively take effective measures to prevent and control tightly and firmly to prevent the highly pathogenic avian influenza in Shenzhen city.
Agriculture, forestry, fisheries bureau composed of four districts within the SAR Inspection, Inspection Longgang District, Baoan District bright Inspection Unit 3, and other inspection teams a total of 80 passengers, from 10 am to start in the city carried out within the framework of a comprehensive inspection.
At present, the inspection team examined the 4 Wholesale Poultry Market, 20 large-scale poultry farms, 8-point monitoring of migratory birds (including monitoring wildlife park, mangrove nature reserve).
From the check point of view, Shenzhen, the highly pathogenic avian influenza prevention and control measures to be better implemented, did not find anything unusual.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Bureau said the next step will focus on the Shenzhen prevention and control measures: a good job at the poultry wholesale market, a greater density of wild birds and other key regional prevention and control of the region, strengthen the monitoring, attention and human isolation; Immunization efforts to implement the measures, focusing on the size of poultry farms and poultry farm exports to ensure 100% immune to strengthen routine immunization to monitor the situation; step up inspections, the report found irregularities in a timely manner; do a good job in emergency preparedness, contingency reserves necessary for the Material.
Still current at: 12 December 2008
Updated: 12 December 2008
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Summary and Health section (Avian Influenza – Bird Flu). The overall level of the advice has not changed.
On 9 December 08, the Hong Kong SAR Government confirmed that Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) had been detected on a poultry farm in the New Territories. No human infections or deaths have been reported. The World Health Organisation (see WHO - Public Health Mapping and GIS Map Library) has confirmed human cases elsewhere in the region and there have been some human fatalities in China. If you plan to visit China please also view the latest China Travel Advice.
We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.
Health: Avian Influenza
The Bulletin was issued on Thursday, 11 December 2008, 14:57:14, EST.
- Avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and only rarely causes infections in humans and other mammals.
- Human cases of avian influenza continue to occur in a number of countries as a result of exposure to infected birds, usually domestic poultry. There is currently no evidence of efficient spread of avian influenza from person to person.
- Australian travellers, long-term residents and businesses overseas should inform themselves about the risks of avian influenza, be prepared to take personal responsibility for their own safety and put appropriate contingency plans in place.
Since November 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed human cases or deaths from avian influenza in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia (including Bali), Iraq, Laos, Burma, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
The WHO has not advised against travel to any of the affected countries. Current information on human health risks from avian influenza can be found on the WHO website.
H5N1 has affected birds in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe
For a list of countries in which outbreaks of avian influenza amongst birds have been reported, see the website of the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and does not spread easily to humans. Nonetheless, people are at risk of contracting avian influenza if they have close contact with infected birds, their faeces or body fluids.
Australians travelling to areas affected by avian influenza can reduce their risk of infection by:
- avoiding situations where they may come into contact with infected birds, including live bird markets;
- washing hands thoroughly after contact with infected or potentially infected birds, their faeces or body fluids.
- ensuring all poultry and eggs are cooked thoroughly before eating (proper cooking destroys the virus in poultry and eggs); and
- ensuring all uncooked poultry and eggs are handled hygienically with careful attention to hand washing after handling.
There is some evidence that mammals such as cats and dogs can be infected by avian influenza. As these, and other animals, can harbour a range of infectious diseases it is good personal hygiene to avoid the secretions and excretions of animals, especially in affected areas, and promptly wash hands after any contact with animals.
Australians intending to travel to avian influenza affected areas should discuss the risk of avian influenza with their doctor as part of their routine pre-travel health checks.
The Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) advises Australians and Australian businesses who reside and/or operate in an avian influenza affected area for an extended period to consider, as a precautionary measure, having access to influenza antiviral medicine. Medical advice should be sought before antiviral medicines are taken.
Australians should familiarise themselves with the advice regarding personal protective and infection-control measures provided on DOHA's Pandemic Influenza website, including the "Prepared and Protected" video.
Should a sustained human-to-human outbreak occur, Australians and Australian businesses should be aware that the delivery of consular assistance to Australians could be severely constrained by local health conditions and restrictions on travel. Australian travellers, long-term residents and businesses overseas should be prepared in these circumstances to take personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being and should monitor this bulletin and the relevant country travel advice for updated information and advice. Australian missions and offices overseas will not be in a position to provide influenza antiviral medicines to Australians in affected areas.
If the threat of sustained human-to-human transmission appears serious, we will advise Australians in affected countries to consider leaving and Australians planning travel to affected countries to reconsider their need to travel. At the same time, the Australian Government would likely direct dependants of staff and staff who are not providing emergency services to leave. As a precautionary measure in case they need to depart at short notice, Australians should ensure that their travel documents are up-to-date, including passports and visas for any non-Australian family members.
If the virus mutates to a form where efficient human-to-human transmission occurs, it may spread quickly and local authorities could move quickly to impose restrictions on travel. Australians who don't leave affected countries when first advised to do so may be prevented from leaving later. Borders may be closed, commercial air services may be curtailed or halted and quarantine requirements may further restrict options for leaving. Australians need to consider in advance how they can care for themselves and put appropriate contingency plans in place. Australians who return to Australia from any areas affected by human-to-human transmission may be asked to quarantine themselves after arrival.
The Australian Government has decided as a precautionary measure to hold a limited supply of the influenza antiviral medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and protective face masks at most of its overseas missions. The antivirals would primarily be used to protect emergency staff providing consular and other essential services in the event of a widespread outbreak of pandemic influenza. These medicines are not currently being taken by staff and will only be taken on medical advice.
This is a prudent measure to ensure that Australian officials overseas will be able to maintain essential services to Australians if a human outbreak does occur. The limited influenza antiviral medicine supplies held at these missions and offices is not intended and does not allow for provision to other Australians who may be in an affected area.
Answers to frequently asked questions about avian influenza are available from the Department of Health and Ageing's website or by phoning the department's Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599 between 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in conjunction with the Department of Health and Ageing will continue to monitor avian influenza closely including for any implications for overseas travel.
You can also visit the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website.