News - APEC And Avian Flu
At their meeting in Busan, South Korea, representatives from the twenty-one member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, or APEC, endorsed a U.S. co-sponsored initiative on pandemic influenza. In their statement, APEC leaders said they "agreed on collective practical measures, including strengthening cooperation and technical assistance among APEC economies to limit influenza at its sources and prevent human outbreaks." APEC members also committed themselves "to effective surveillance, transparency and openness, and close domestic and international coordination and collaboration."
The avian influenza virus, H-5-N-1, has been found in migratory birds and poultry in Southeast Asia, China, Mongolia, Croatia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and elsewhere. Millions of birds in Southeast Asia have been destroyed in an effort to stop the spread of avian influenza. More than sixty people who have had contact with infected fowl have died. While the current virus is hard for humans to contract, medical experts say it could mutate into a form that could be easily transmitted from person to person.
VOA News - APEC And Avian Flu