News 381 views update:Sep 20, 2006

World Bank estimates Avian Flu outbreak costs

A World Health Organization official has noted that recent outbreaks of the disease in Thailand and Laos show the risk remains for the disease.

Avian influenza continues to get world attention. The World Bank put a cost on a potential outbreak of the human-transmitted form of the disease, if it were to develop at US$2 trillion. According to a Reuters report, the World Bank says the economic threat remains "real and substantial," but that popular media are treating fears of an avian flu outbreak as they did the Y2K issue six years ago.
Earlier estimates last year pegging the cost at US$800 billion were a rough guess, but that more financial modeling has revealed a sharper threat should the virus mutate to easily pass among people. Officials say it is important to create strong programs to stop the flu and strengthen world health and veterinary services.
Countries and world organizations continue to commit resources to stopping the disease and researching ways to combat it should the flu start spreading from human to human.

Editor WorldPoultry

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