Human flu pandemic 'inevitable' - BBC
No need to panic before it's time... There has been very few casualties worldwide so far. Most of them come from contacts with poultries. I live in a country where some bird flu outbreaks have occured for the past 2 years. The media is right about warning that a pandemic will eventually happen. However, very few journalists dare to say that nobody knows when this pandemic will really become deadly. So far, it makes more sense to be concerned about the effects of tobacco, alcoholism, bad nutrition, HIV/AIDS, road accidents etc.
Here are the useful websites for flu prevention:
A pandemic would be caused by the H5N1 virus in birds, officials say
Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
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Human flu pandemic 'inevitable'
By Lee Carter BBC News, Ottawa
Health ministers and top officials from more than 30 countries have started a conference in Ottawa, Canada, about how to plan for a human influenza pandemic.
All the speakers acknowledged that a pandemic caused by the deadly H5N1 virus was inevitable.
Strategies on how to deal with the problem are opening up sensitivities between wealthy countries and the developing world.
Wealthy nations can afford to stockpile antiviral drugs and poorer ones cannot.
H5N1 BIRD FLU VIRUS
Principally an avian disease, first seen in humans in Hong Kong in 1997
Almost all human cases thought to be contracted from birds
Possible cases of human-to-human transmission in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, but none confirmed
Q&A: Bird flu
Bird flu jab shows promise
Impact on birds and humans
World Health Organization Director General Jong-wook Lee said that countries could not let national boundaries get in the way of combating any future pandemic.
But that is clearly the fear among delegates here.
Some countries, including Mexico, are proposing that 10% of all antiviral drugs produced in wealthier countries be automatically handed over to developing ones.
In his strongest statement yet on the issue, the host of the meeting, Canadian Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said that countries could not be blamed for breaking patent laws if the alternative was watching their people die.
There is a similar debate about the production of any future vaccine, which some experts say could be six months away.
Some countries have proposed that the only way to increase capacity and keep costs down is to hand over production to the developing world.
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