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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:43, May 16, 2006
Pacific countries on risk of bird flu
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Some small countries in the Pacific region may get infected with bird flu, as the disease had contaminated poultry in Indonesia's Papua Province, which was bordered with Papua New Guinea, an UN official said here on Monday.

Papua New Guinea was currently on threat of being contracted by the virus, said Laurence J. Gleesen, Regional Manager of Emergency Center for Transboundary Disease Control of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

"If they arrived into Papua New Guinea and I think other nations in the South Pacific would also be at risk. I don't mean Australia. I mean some of the small nations, because there are rapid movement of people and other products," Gleesen told reporters on the sideline of the 28th Regional Conference of FAO for Asia and the Pacific Region which kicked off here on Monday morning.

It was last month when the Papua poultry were contracted with H5N1 virus, according to the official.

"We know that this disease has recently arrived in the province of Papua. It was certainly moved by the poultry and the poultry products, so the spread of the disease is clearly a threat to Papua New Guinea," he said.

Twenty six out of 35 people infected by the disease in Indonesia have died, according to the World Health Organization ( WHO).

Last week, five Indonesian people from a blood-related family were infected with avian influenza virus according to test by the country's laboratory. Three of them have died.

Source: Xinhua

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