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Indonesia, US Must Cooperate to Prevent Bird Flu Pandemic: US Health Official

by Medindia Content Team on  April 15, 2008 at 3:00 PM Bird Flu News   - G J E 4
A top US health official stressed on Monday, the need for Indonesia and the United States to work together to prevent a global bird flu pandemic.
Indonesia, US Must Cooperate to Prevent Bird Flu Pandemic: US Health Official
Indonesia, US Must Cooperate to Prevent Bird Flu Pandemic: US Health Official
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US Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt said bird flu was a danger to the whole world and stressed the importance of international cooperation.

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Indonesia, the nation worst hit by the disease, has been reluctant to share information with international scientists battling the constantly mutating virus without in return being guaranteed access to vaccines.

"To enhance cooperation is vital amongst all nations," said Leavitt after meeting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

"The United States has very important relationships here in Indonesia, that involve joint work in laboratories in various levels of research, and we have pledged to continue that.

"We have the same concerns about a global pandemic. If (flu) is present everywhere then there is danger everywhere, and we must work together."

Indonesia has the highest number of human bird flu victims, with 107 people known to have died from the disease, 13 of them this year.

Experts fear the virus, which is usually spread directly from birds to humans, could mutate into a form easily transmissible between people, sparking a deadly global pandemic.

Source: AFP
THK/L
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