Latin America is the area at the lowest risk of a bird flu epidemic, Moises Vargas Teran, head of animal health for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, said on Thursday.
Although Latin American countries are free of the disease, the region "must think ahead, and all Latin American countries have established control mechanisms for that reason," Vargas Teran told media on the sidelines of the 29th Latin American and Caribbean conference of the FAO, which will end here on Friday.
The official said that FAO would spend 2 million U.S. dollars over 18 months on four programs, which were subdivided by four regions across the continent to prevent the disease, whose aggressive expansion could affect both domestic and wild birds.
The FAO recommends biological security measures, preventing migratory birds from having contact with domestic birds, and controlling poultry farm visits.
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed at least 113 people in the world, and infected birds in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.