Condition of Number 1 Poultry Exporter Keeps Brazil on Edge on Bird Flu

Paulo Magalhães, a member of the Aerospace Medical Society (Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Aeroespacial) (SBMA), says that the aviation sector is preparing to impede the entrance of bird flu by implementing a series of measures.

The measures include setting up an adequate alert system for suspected cases of the disease on aircraft, careful analysis of cases during flights and efficient treatment upon arrival.

The plan also will impose strict control on the movement of nurses and other healthcare personnel, along with attentive tracking of cases.

Magalhães says the measures are similar to those used three years ago during the appearance of SARS (severe, acute respiratory syndrome), also known as "atypical Asian pneumonia," which threatened to become an epidemic.

Implanting the measures will require training of personnel and an educational campaign for the public, Magalhães reports, adding that the sector has already begun preparations following a meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, January 11.

Poultry Producers Plans

An Operational Plan for the Prevention of Newcastle Disease and Bird Flu (Plano Operacional de Prevenção da Doença de Newcastle e de Influenza Aviária) was discussed Thursday, January 12, by a technical commission from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and poultry producer representatives.

Proposals will be made and then aired at public hearings over a period of 60 days before the final version of the plan is drawn up.

The plan is expected to include regular serological examinations of poultry, along with the registration and inspection of poultry production.

Among other reasons, Brasí­lia is concerned with the problems of Newcastle disease and bird flu because Brazil has become the world’s number one poultry exporter. In 2005 sector exports were worth US$ 3.5 billion.

Agência Brasil

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