David Nabarro, the senior UN coordinator for bird flu, warned on Friday that there is still the possibility the avian influenza can be transmitted to humans.
Telling reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York, he called on the international community to consistently work for a high- level political commitment to control the virus.
He argued that there's also a need for strong capacity of veterinary and human health services with robust compensation and rehabilitation measures, involvement of private sector and civil society as well as government and strong communication messages to the general public.
"What would be the worst thing in the world is if we say the situation has not led to a pandemic -- it's primarily a disease of birds -- we can afford to let our guard," Nabarro said. "We can't. We have to not only maintain focus on the challenges of avian influenza, but we must get more pandemic ready."
He also pointed out that he's not surprised by recent outbreaks of bird flu in several countries, noting that since 2003 there's been a steady rise in the number of outbreaks in poultry between December and April.
Meanwhile, Nabarro suspected the current spread of bird flu in Asia, Africa and Europe is mainly a result of trade in infected live birds rather than transmission through wild birds.
He saidd investigators probing the cause of a bird flu outbreak at a commercial turkey farm in Britain are now focusing on a possible link with the transfer of partly processed birds from a farm in southeastern Hungary, where there was an outbreak last month.
According to the result of the investigation carried out by Britain's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it indicated the strain of H5N1 bird flu found at the British farm was identical to the strain found last month in Hungary.