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Thailand hosts international conference on avian influenza


January 24, 2008

Thailand hosts international conference on avian influenza

Thailand is hosting a world meeting on avain influenza which has drawn some 500 researchers and academics from over 40 countries to exchange experiences on bird flu vaccine research in humans and animals, and to develop a vaccine to prevent avian flu, according to Prof. Dr. Yongyuth Yuthavong, Minister of Science and Technology. 
Dr. Yongyuth presided at the opening ceremony of the Bangkok International Conference on Avian Influenza 2008: Integration from Knowledge to Control. He said the aim of the conference is to provide opportunities to share updated scientific information and to learn from individual experiences. 
The forum has provided opportunities for knowledge, particularly lessons from the past three years, to learn from their experience to adapt applications for controlling the spread of bird flu virus (H5N1).
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It would also facilitate international understanding and collaboration, which is essential for handling the global threat, the minister said.
"Without doubt the emerging infectious diseases, especially avian influenza," he said, "is a global concern which no nation can be complacent about."   
Globalisation of trade and travel can also act as a catalyst to expand this disease throughout wider regions.
"There are good measures in place to reduce and minimise the risks, but these are not considered watertight systems," he said."Seasonal outbreaks will continue to occur."
For this reason, he said, "it is necessary to continue to be on the alert and to maintain procedures necessary to protect both the public and animal health."  
The Bangkok conference opened Wednesday and will continue through Friday this week.

It is organised by the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and a number of allied organisations in Thailand.

Courtesy TNA

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