WHO had urged the people to be prepared for any outbreak of Avian Influenza, commonly called bird flu. Although the disease mainly spreads from birds to other animal species, even to humans, WHO is skeptical that the strain of virus that causes bird flu may soon mutate itself to a form that may spread the disease human to human, and cause an influenza outbreak that human immunity will be unable to handle.
The disease was first seen in the poultry of Republic of Korea in mid December 2003 and had soon spread to Asian countries of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The first cases of humans being infected by the strain of H5N1 avian influenza were reported in January 2004 in Thailand and Vietnam.
In the strong warning issued by FAO of United Nations, it has been pointed out that bird flu will probably remain for a long time in the countries where the disease outbreaks, and hence strong precautionary measures need to be taken to arrest the virus at its roots. In the avian form, the disease is borne by wild birds, especially ducks, and so it may be difficult to contain the spread of the disease. FAO advises that instead of killing the poultry population, it is important to impose strict biosecurity measures to poultry production all over the world.