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The World in Medicine
August 17, 2005

Bird Flu Plan

JAMA. 2005;294(7):787. doi:10.1001/jama.294.7.787-c

International animal and human health experts announced last month that they had developed a plan to help prevent transmission of the H5N1 avian influenza virus from poultry to humans and thus reduce the risk of an influenza pandemic. As of July 21, 2005, 109 human cases of avian influenza had been reported in Asian countries, resulting in 55 deaths (

The plan was drawn up at a 3-day conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the World Health Organization. Delegates concluded that priority should be given to addressing conditions at small-scale and backyard farms, the setting for most human cases that have arisen. The groups called on the international community to provide $100 million to fund the recommended control measures, which include educating farmers and their communities about changing farming practices (such as not raising poultry and pigs in close proximity to each other and to humans), vaccinating flocks, and compensating farmers to encourage them to report suspected outbreaks.

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