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FAO warns of the risk of a repeat avian influenza pandemic

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THE Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is warning that an outbreak of avian influenza on the scale of that seen in 2006 could be repeated unless surveillance and control of dangerous animal diseases is strengthened globally.

In a statement issued on January 29, the FAO says that continued strict vigilance for H5N1 is required given that large reservoirs of the virus still exist in some countries in Asia and the Middle East, where there disease has become endemic. It adds that, without adequate controls, the disease could easily spread globally as it did at its peak in 2006, when 63 countries were affected.

‘The continuing international economic downturn means less money is available for prevention of H5N1 bird flu and other threats …

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