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Avian Influenza: the APEC EINet Response
Since the highly pathogenic avian influenza strain H5N1 re-emerged in
Southeast Asia in 2003, APEC EINet has been keeping a close eye on the
situation. This emerging zoonotic disease has had a devastating impact on
animal health and the economy in the affected areas. Moreover, avian
influenza H5N1 has been increasingly threatening human health, causing
concern that it may become the next pandemic influenza, with potentially
devastating consequences. In order to enhance the level of biopreparedness
against this emerging threat in the Asia Pacific, APEC EINet has responded actively in the following manner:
- Initiated the dissemination of biweekly "APEC EINet Alerts" on avian influenza updates to supplement the existing biweekly Newsbriefs.
Thus, our readers now obtain timely, reliable, and summarized avian influenza-related news on a weekly basis.
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- Within each EINet Alert and Newsbrief, we have added the sections "Global: Cumulative number of human cases of avian influenza A/(H5N1)" and "Avian/Pandemic influenza updates". The former provides quick access to the latest number of human cases and deaths due to avian influenza H5N1 since 2003,
and the latter provides links to high quality websites on avian/pandemic influenza subjects.
- Hosted the first APEC Virtual Symposium on Pandemic Preparedness and Response on January 19, 2006. This Access Grid videoconference was a major success with participation by
10 APEC member economies. Each economy presented their epidemiologic situation and pandemic planning status
in this collaborative, real-time event. A follow-up to this videoconference is currently being planned.