Asia’s first bird flue combat depot launched in ThailandMarch 25th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by admin
Bangkok, March 25 (DPA) The US Tuesday launched Asia’s first avian influenza combat depot in Thailand to supply emergency kits to fight new outbreaks in the region of the H5N1 virus that has killed at least 235 people worldwide. “The Regional Distribution Centre in Thailand, the first of three regional supply centres that are being established worldwide, will help ensure countries in Asia will be able to take fast action to counter avian influenza without endangering the lives of the rapid-response teams,” said US Ambassador to Thailand Eric John.
The centre, in a warehouse near Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, is stocked with 45,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, 440 decontamination kits, 10 laboratory specimen kits and four training packs, all of which are valued at $548,300.
The project was sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for speedy deployment to contain avian influenza outbreaks in the Asian region.
Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has killed millions of chickens and ducks since it first broke out in Asia in 2003, and has also claimed 235 human lives worldwide.
Scientists fear the virus could mutate and cause a global epidemic.
“There were fewer human deaths last year than in 2006,” said John.
“But the threat remains. Avian influenza still is a critical problem in this region,” he added.
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