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Avian Flu Seen in Others Birds too

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The Melaka virus represents a new trend of infectious diseases coming from animals, known as zoonotic viruses.

In Germany, authorities are testing the carcasses of four birds to determine whether they carried the H5N1 strain of avian flu after the virus was found in nine cases in the country in the past three days.

Six birds infected with the virus were found dead in the southern state of Bavaria and three in the eastern state of Saxony. The disease has been found in geese and turkeys on farms in Hungary, the U.K. and the Czech Republic this year. The three birds discovered near the German city of Nuremberg June 24 are the European Union's first cases of H5N1 in wild birds this year. In 2006, it was detected in more than 700 wild birds in the EU.

So far, there is no evidence that the deadly strain of the virus has been transmitted from person to person. But experts fear that if the H5N1 virus mutates it could become easily transmitted among humans, triggering a global pandemic.

The FAO experts said efficient veterinary services and improved private/public partnership for better surveillance and control are indispensable.

Since 2003, the H5N1 virus has infected 310 people. A total of 190 have died of the disease. Some 250 million poultry have been destroyed, or have died from bird flu. Over the past two years, the international community has pledged more than $2.4 billion to deal with avian influenza.

Researchers are working on a vaccine to prevent the deadly form of the disease.

A long-term presence of the virus will require a long-term financial and political commitment from governments and the international community to finally contain and eradicate the virus.

"The socially and economically equitable adjustment of poultry production and marketing systems for safer product supply is essential to reduce infection risks. Witho
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