Bird flu pandemic inevitable: WHO (30-03-2007) Viet Nam has both suffered and been hailed for its fight against avian influenza in poultry and humans. However, even now when the country is reported outbreak-free, the threat is far from over. While the virus is circulating in the environment, the risk to humans remains. Nations currently share the concern that an influenza pandemic may be imminent. Nature has given us a strong and unprecedented warning and it would be foolish to ignore this, or let this concern fade over time. Outbreaks can be stamped out but bird flu virus probably persists for many years in the countries that have been struck. Wild birds, migratory birds are considered as natural hosts of the bird flu virus and it is therefore likely impossible to eliminate the disease. Additionally, many of the strains that spread to domestic poultry change to become highly pathogenic – some of these may infect other species, including man. Margaret Chan, WHO Director General, in her speech at a Summit on Business Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza, stressed that global spread would be inevitable, given the contagious nature of influenza. Countries might, through measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, delay…
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