19 Sep 2005

International meeting called to discuss threat of birdflu to region

7:10 am on 19 September 2005

Representatives from 37 countries will discuss the threat of bird flu to the region at a conference in New Caledonia this week.

The World Health Organisation has arranged the meeting in Noumea amid concern that the avian flu outbreak in Asia could lead to a pandemic.

An epidemiologist at the Pacific Community, Tom Kiedrzynsk, says if bird flu mutates and becomes a risk to humans it could spread throughout the region.