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China Willing to Cooperate on Bird Flu Control: FAO Official

China is willing to collaborate more with the international community in dealing with the avian influenza crisis by hosting the upcoming China-ASEAN special meeting on March 2, said an official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Bangkok Saturday.  

China has invited experts and officials at the vice-ministerial level from relevant departments of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet in Beijing for a special meeting on bird flu control.


The ASEAN secretariat, the FAO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) will also attend the meeting.


China has been reporting its bird flu situation across the country, from the south to the north, and the reporting system is improving, Dr. J. Domenech, director of FAO's Animal Production and Health Division told Xinhua at a press conference held at the conclusion of the emergency meeting on avian influenza.


China is exercising mixed strategies, including vaccination of birds, to fight the epidemic and the efforts are well paid-off as there have been no reports of new outbreaks in the country for the past 11 days, said the UN official.


Targeted vaccination, as implemented in China, is one of the options to control the virus, he said. However, the practice has to be properly monitored, he cautioned.


And the Chinese government is working together with FAO experts to carry out more evaluation of the situation on the ground, and it is getting more support from the international community to get the epidemic under control, he said.


The three-day technical meeting on avian influenza control in animals in Asia opened in Bangkok Thursday. The meeting was co-sponsored by the FAO and the OIE with the participation of representatives from 23 countries in Asia.


(Xinhua News Agency February 29, 2004)

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