Saturday, December 03, 2005

News - Australia tests response to threat of bird flu outbreak

Australian health and emergency services authorities began responding yesterday to an outbreak of H5NI avian influenza, but the threat was entirely hypothetical and existed only on the desktops of the professionals involved in the simulated exercise.

Operation Eleusis, a simulated bird flu outbreak designed to test Australia's emergency response plans, began yesterday with the involvement of around 1,000 people in 19 towns and cities, who will be presented with more than 400 problems which could occur in the event of a real outbreak.

"The exercise includes hypothetical cases of people contracting bird flu," Tony Abbott, the Australian health minister, said in a statement. "All Australian health authorities are participating and this is an opportunity to test our emergency response plans." / World / Asia-Pacific - Australia tests response to threat of bird flu outbreak


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