Brazil’s federal government is preparing a preventive action plan to ward off possible threats from infectious diseases capable of endangering the safety of the population. One of these diseases is avian influenza, known as bird flu, transmitted by the H5N1 virus.
In a note issued on Saturday, October 15, the Presidential Cabinet of Institutional Security (GSI) informed that the measures will be formulated by the Biosecurity Technical Group (GT).
Vaccine production and the purchase of ingredients to manufacture remedies are among the chief actions contemplated.
The group was established under the aegis of the Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Relations and National Defense (Creden), which comprises representatives of various federal government bodies, such as the Presidential Advisory Office and the ministries of Defense, Justice, Health, and Foreign Relations.
According to the note, the Biosecurity Technical Group met last Thursday, October 13. Their objective is "to study, evaluate, and coordinate actions and propose preventive measures for possible threats posed by diseases capable of jeopardizing the safety of society." Their task will be based on the Brazilian Contingency Plan for a Flu Pandemic, which is being drafted by the Ministry of Health.
On October 6-7, a Brazilian delegation participated in a meeting in Washington, the US capital, to discuss steps to face a "possible pandemic of bird flu." Representatives of 80 countries attended the meeting.
According to the site of the World Health Organization (WHO), the contamination of birds by the H5N1 virus is a cause of concern, since it increases the likelihood of cases occurring in humans. The WHO points out, however, that all existing evidence suggests that the virus does not easily pass from birds to humans.