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Bird flu not a threat to Iran

Bird Flu poses not the least threat to Iran under present conditions, said an Iranian immunology expert Vahid Mahruyan in Tehran on Monday, IRNA reported.

Mahruyan said no poultry is imported to Iran via borders, adding that it might however be brought into Iranian territory by passengers from Pakistan or Afghanistan.

He said necessary customs measures have been adopted to tackle the situation.

Iran's Veterinary Organization recently called on chicken farmers and related officials not to import any birds, poultry and related products from the countries hit by the bird flu.

The Veterinary Organization in a statement also banned import of any domestic or birds of paradise by incoming Iranians and passengers, given the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu and the H7 disease in Pakistan.

It also called on all those travelling to the countries hit by the bird flu virus not to visit the areas where any sort of birds are kept.

United Nations agencies Tuesday called for an all-out global effort to combat bird flu and warned the virus could kill millions if it mutates, as China became the 10th Asian country to be hit.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned millions of people could die if the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu racing through Asia combined with another human influenza virus that is moving towards the region.

"In my judgment it is possible and so that's why we have to work very hard today, not tomorrow, to contain this, to prevent that mutation," said Shigeru Omi, director of the UN health agency's Western Pacific office.

The WHO has said that while humans have so far only caught bird flu from infected poultry -- usually through contact with animal faeces -- the virus could mutate into a form that can be transmitted between humans.

... Payvand News - 2/10/04 ... --

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