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Bird Flu Infection Of Chinese Girl Prompts Fear Of Spread Across Asia

pread of the virus. Following the detection of a virulent strain of the bird flu virus in Ukraine recently, there is a fear that it could spread from the Crimean peninsula to other countries in Eastern Europe.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has already claimed the lives of more than 60 people and infecting more than 100 others in parts of Asia. There is an increasing fear that the disease may be transmitted through human beings due to a mutation of the viral genetic material. It is believed that improved surveillance of birds is the only hope left to limit the spread of the virus.

In addition, the availability of poor laboratory services in many countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and China has prompted for a strict monitoring. Individuals in these areas live in close contact with domestic and wild fowl, which increases the risk of transmission.

"The big, big challenge is to expand the surveillance network in the rural areas. We have to provide some training and equipment and build new facilities to improve the testing capacities", said Oshitani, official from the WHO.
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