A report this morning out of Hong Kong (Hat tip Shiloh on FluTrackers) by Reuters on attempts by authorities in countries like China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to thwart the spread of the bird flu virus.
Illegal poultry trade, along with porous borders and low levels of surveillance, have often been cited as factors in the spread of H5N1 bird flu. Migratory birds, particularly waterfowl, are also believed to be a factor in the spread of the disease.
In recent weeks we’ve seen reports of outbreaks of the H5N1 virus in India, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Egypt and Indonesia, where the virus is well entrenched, see poultry die-offs from the virus practically on a daily basis.
Mentioned at the end of this article is the reiteration of Indonesia’s policy not to share virus samples until it receives guarantees of access to low priced vaccines derived from those samples.
Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:34am EST
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Disease experts in Southeast Asia will map out key poultry smuggling routes, especially along Cambodia's long border with Thailand and Vietnam, in a move to prevent the spread of the H5N1 bird flu virus in the region.
Researchers from China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam met in the Chinese city of Kunming to discuss ways to control the spread of the virus, which kills 60 percent of the people it infects.
Even though H5N1 transmission between people is weak, experts say it continues to pose a risk especially if it gets mixed with the now dominant H1N1 swine flu virus. Such a hybrid may then be both deadly and easily transmissible among people.
"In Cambodia, illegal or informal trade occurs along its long border with Thailand and Vietnam. There is that informal trade, not just in birds, but eggs and other poultry products, smuggling," said Khieu Borin, director of Cambodia's Center for Livestock and Agriculture Department.
(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn in Hong Kong and Olivia Rondonuwu in Jakarta; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)