Bird flu in poultry and wild birds spread to 60 countries but is entrenched only in six because of improved and faster responses, experts said.
Despite those strides, the risk of a worldwide human-to-human pandemic remains as great today as it was when the hard-to-treat H5N1 flu strain first gained intense attention in mid-2005, said a new report by Dr. David Nabarro, the UN official co-ordinating the global fight against avian influenza, and World Bank officials.
"We think it will happen sometime but we don't know when or where," Nabarro said Thursday.
Three years ago, H5N1 was found in poultry and wild birds in nine countries, the UN bird flu chief said. The increase is thought to have resulted more from trade in infected live birds than by transmission through wild birds, whose migrations change with weather.
... Sporadic human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 strain has been reported in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia but none of the cases has been proven and officials determined there was no epidemiological significance because the spread was not sustained.
- FROM 9 TO 60 COUNTRIES.
- MILLIONS OF INFECTED BIRDS CULLED THIS YEAR.
IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME...