Laurence Gleeson, consultant and senior animal disease expert with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has called China's bird flu prevention and control work "appropriate."
Investigating Wednesday Long'an County, in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where China's first highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus case was confirmed, Mr. Gleeson said, "On the basis of one investigation, I can not come to too many conclusions. However, the principles of control of avian influenza appear to be closely followed in this particular case."
Immediately after the outbreak of the bird flu, the local government took effective measures, including rapid confirmation of the first case, strict control of suspect poultry and compulsory vaccination in high-risk areas, which were highly commended by Gleeson.
"They have done everything." said the expert from the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.
Gleeson, together with Xu Ji, assistant FAO representative to China, did their research at Yong'anli Village, less than 2 km from the site infected with bird flu, investigating the killing and vaccination of local poultry and related compensation.
The FAO experts also held talks with local officials, learning about the methods of the Long'an bird flu prevention and control headquarters, and the application of vaccines in this area.
Gleeson was to hold talks Thursday with Guangxi officials in charge of bird flu prevention and control.
It was the first time for the FAO to send experts to conduct research in a bird flu-stricken area since China's confirmation of an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.
Hopefully, the FAO can get a full understanding of China's bird flu prevention and control achievements through this investigation, so that cooperation between the Chinese government and the FAO can be extended, said Gleeson.
(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2004)