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Avian Influenza has stopped spreading beyond the countries currently infected

The number of countries infected by the H5N1 virus has been stable since the beginning of February.

Following on the scientific recommendations of the conference organised in Rome last 3 and 4 February by the FAO, OIE and WHO, a control program has been designed, aimed at helping the infected countries rid themselves of the disease. Control and eradication of the animal source of the virus is essential in order to remove the potential risk of a human epidemic.

An international conference, organised by the OIE and the FAO, with the participation of the WHO, will be held in Bangkok on 26, 27 and 28 February, at the invitation of the government of Thailand. The conference will bring together the national chief veterinary officers, delegates to the OIE of 22 Asian countries and around 15 countries from other regions of the world.

International high level officers and experts of the OIE and the FAO will present recommendations on control and prevention programs on Avian Influenza in animals, for the entire region and for each country, including the conditions of the use of vaccination according to OIE standards.

Several international and bilateral organisations that wish to lend technical and financial assistance to the achievement and success of these programs have already accepted the invitation extended to them, and will participate actively in the discussions.

WHO representatives will, for their part, extensively address methods and actions of protection and monitoring for human populations exposed to the animal virus.