The H5N1 virus continues to spread in the world (FAO)

The avian influenza H5N1 continues to spread to the Asian, European and African where its presence has been confirmed in 55 countries against 45 last April, said Monday the agency United Nations Food and agriculture Organization (FAO).

FAO notes, however, a slowdown in the rate of infection among poultry farms through monitoring measures and calls for strengthening veterinary and laboratory services in poor countries.”We do not expect to eradicate the H5N1 virus from possible wild bird reservoirs, but we can contain and control it fully in the poultry sector, which is the best guarantee that it will not mutate into a virus easily transmissible human, “said the chief veterinary officer of FAO, Joseph Domenech.

Since 2002, the virus has killed 140 people worldwide, including 41 in 2005 and 63 since the beginning of 2006, according to a review of the international agency. At the same time, 220 million birds have died of disease or were slaughtered.Among the European regions considered “high risk” include the southern part of the Balkans and the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, resting place for migratory birds, and where poultry production “is mainly characterized by farms rural and family little concerned with biosafety and rigorous inspections.

The deadly virus continues to spread in Asia, particularly in Indonesia where 45 people have died of bird flu in Thailand and Laos where a farm was hit.In Africa, the virus “causing problems” in Ivory Coast and Nigeria.FAO stresses the need for a long struggle coordinated local, regional and international, which requires “long-term financing.”The UN agency, which seeks in particular to strengthen veterinary services in the world, has so far received US $ 67.6 million to fight against the epidemic.