3 Feb 2004

WHO to update Fiji meeting on preparations to combat bird flu

8:25 am on 3 February 2004

A further meeting is being held in Fiji this week in order to review plans to prepare for the possibility of an outbreak of the deadly bird flu.

The World Health Organisation's representative in the region, Dr Ken Chen, says this follows a suspected case in Vietnam of the virus being transmitted between humans.

He says this is yet to be confirmed but it could mean that the virus can be spread more easily.

Dr Chen says he will update the working group, set up last week, about the case and look at the preparations being taken.

"We will review what this working group propose to do in those areas like surveillance, like case management, like public education, risk and responsibility. All those kinds of areas, we will review it to be well prepared."

Dr Chen says if the case is confirmed, then he will recommend that surveillance be increased at the airports and ports.