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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Chan in bird flu warning

5th January 2007

Margaret Chan, the first Chinese citizen to become the head of a UN agency, has taken office at the helm of the World Health Organisation (WHO), warning that avian influenza is still a global public health threat.

The former Hong Kong health chief and bird flu expert said reports of the H5N1 virus had begun to surface after a quiet period, and that poorer countries were at the greatest risk.

The WHO is particularly concerned about an outbreak on a poultry farm in Vietnam, the first in that country in almost a year.

Chan has promised tough measures against countries that fail to comply with detection and testing requirements, or that hinder the develop of vaccines.

"The next pandemic, if it occurs, will be very devastating... we are very concerned of the likelihood of a pandemic," Chan said.

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