Despite significant advances to deal with the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu in the past two years, countries must maintain their vigilance and cooperate in the face of a possible pandemic, according to a joint U.N. and World Bank report released Friday.
The new report said "that the capacity and understanding around communication about bird flu has greatly improved," Senior U.N. System Influenza Coordinator David Nabarro told reporters at the U. N. Headquarters.
The report said that although a massive global effort to control the deadly bird flu strain has led to improved responses to outbreaks in poultry in many countries during the past year, there is a continuing risk of a virus mutation which results in severe and easily transmitted influenza in humans, potentially precipitating an influenza pandemic.
It said that the pandemic threat has led most governments to improve services to detect, contain and lessen the impact of dangerous pathogens. However, many national pandemic plans are not sufficiently operational and the coordination of pandemic planning between countries needs greater attention, the report said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2007)