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Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Avian flu: a problem for both ACP and EU countries

In debating avian flu, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly highlighted that it poses a global threat with possible repercussions for human health, the global economy and world stability, since little is known about human immunity to a mutated H5N1 subtype. John BOWIS (EPP/ED, UK) said what was needed was a sense of urgency recalling the previous flu pandemics of the twentieth century. The ACP countries need to examine the issues of possible vaccinations of poultry and free-range poultry. Mr Bowis said that tracking the spread of the different viruses was very important. ACP countries needed access to well equipped laboratories and protective equipment. The issue of access to vaccines was also key because of limited availability with the WHO estimating maximum production at 300 million doses.