UN Appoints Coordinator to Respond to Bird Flu Threat

“Facing dire warnings of an impending global pandemic of avian influenza, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the appointment of a United Nations system coordinator for the virus, which is presently decimating poultry stocks in Asia and could cross over to humans to deadly effect.

“We expect the next great influenza pandemic to come at any time now,” David Nabarro, a senior public health expert in the UN World Health Organization (WHO), told a news briefing, recalling that the 1918 flu pandemic had killed over 40 million people.” [Full story]