Bird Flu Measures Are Set To Come Into Force

Measures designed to combat the threat of a bird flu pandemic are comming into force today.

The UK Government has introduced a ban on the sale and display of birds at markets, shows and fairs around England, with separate arrangements for Scotland and Wales.

It is also enacting new regulations within days to comply with other EU-wide anti-bird flu measures.

Ministers are considering whether to order free-range chickens to be brought indoors to minimise the risk of them catching the virus.

A register of commercial poultry producers is also to be set up.

Source: The Daily Mail

Dr Klaus Stohr, of the WHO, told the committee even a mild pandemic would affect 25-30% of the world’s population, killing two to seven million and leaving 28 million needing hospital treatment.

The federal government said yesterday it has awarded a $62-million contract to Chiron Corp. to manufacture a bird flu vaccine, (Sanofi-Aventis already has a $100-million contract to produce anti-bird flu shots), and the Senate moved to invest far more - $8 billion - on preparations in case the flu strain sparks a worldwide epidemic.

link [www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-bztami284486948oct28,0,7479100.story?coll=ny-health-headlines]

At the same time, Swiss company Roche Holding AG said demand for its Tamiflu antiviral treatment is so extreme that it has stopped shipping it to private U.S. suppliers to thwart hoarding.

The American Medical Association opposes personal stockpiling and says the misuse of Tamiflu could lead to drug-resistant flu strains.

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