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Turkey steps up fights against bird flu outbr -

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(generated from captions) Welcome to the program. are racing against the clock Authorities in Turkey to stop the spread of bird flu from the disease. after confirming another death Three young siblings have died has now climbed to 18, and the number of people infected just four and six years of age. the latest patients

has come under attack The Turkish Government for its handling of the crisis.

around the infected sites Quarantine zones have been set up of chickens have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands in the past fortnight. it's a case of too little, too late, But local officials say help could be on its way. but it seems announced Overnight, British scientists to the H5N1 virus. they've unlocked the DNA prepared on the drug front, The upside is that we can be better is still mutating but it seems the virus a distinct possibility. and a pandemic remains Nick Grimm reports.

It's living, growing, changing.

Avian influenza - bird flu. Health

experts say that with every passing

the day the moment approaches when

the disease will jump the so-called

species barrier and begin to spread

from human to human. As a new

case reported in Turkey recently from human to human. As a new human

shows, the situation is worsening

with each month and the threat of

influenza pandemic is continuing to with each month and the threat of an

grow every day. It's the first time

in history that we are watch

in history that we are watch

in history that we are watching a

form in birds jumping to humans but

we don't know how long that can

for the varieties to adapt. Now we don't know how long that can take

authorities fear the current

outbreak in Turkey has moved one

step closer to the global pandemic

that could result from the current

H5N1 strain of bird flu mutating

into a form capable of human to

human transmission. Any influenza

strain which is virulent in one

species and has not been in humans

before must give us some cause for

concern over. Overnight British

researchers finished decoding the

DNA sequence of the virus: They've

discovered it's already evolving.

The good news is scientists now

a clearer picture of the virus's The good news is scientists now have

weaknesses and how they can be

better targeted with vaccines. The

bad news is it's developing new

characteristics that make it better

suited for infecting humans.

we need to monitor the changes in

the virus to fully understand

happening. While which understand the virus to fully understand what's

some of the things which make these

viruses more transmissible from

human to human or from avian to

human, we don't understand them all.

The disease is not spreading

humans yet. But three confirmed The disease is not spreading between

deaths in turkey were a brother and

two cyst relevance who had all

contracted the disease directly

birds. But Melbourne-based Dr Ian contracted the disease directly from

Barr from the World Health Organisation's Centre for Influenza

argues we need to be prepared for

the worst-case scenario. ThisH5N1

virus has killed more humans than

any other novel strain which has

been detected in humans in the past

10 or 15 years. If the Turkish

strain of the virus is changing rk

it's all the more urgent that the

disease st quickly brought under

control. The more people inflected,

the more likely it evolve into a

more deadly strain. But limiting

spread of the disease is proving more deadly strain. But limiting the

difficult. In somevilleances,

are reluctant to kill off their difficult. In somevilleances, locals

thir looking birds. We got poison are reluctant to kill off their hell

kill the chickens, this farmer says, thir looking birds. We got poison to

but we don't want to kill them.

Elsewhere, other villagers complain

they can't rid themselves of their

birds fast enough. TRANSLATION: We

asked the officials to collect the

chickens but still we are weight.

Our children are playing with

chickens, children, they don't

understand what is going on. The

World Health Organisation now

bloofs the H5N1 strain has killed World Health Organisation now belief

around 80 people worldwide since it

emerged in 2003. In addition to to

the 3 Turkish fatalities,:

That figure fails to take into

account two more recent Indonesian

deaths which tests are yet to

officially confirm were caused by

bird flu. Even so, a 29-year-old

woman who died just two days ago

almost certainly the latest victim woman who died just two days ago was

of the disease. So if bird flu is

the doorstep, could Australia of the disease. So if bird flu is on

its next target? The poultry the doorstep, could Australia become

handling practices in Turkey are

similar to what occur in South-East

Asia, the way they house their

poultry and it's different from

we do in Australia and in Eastern poultry and it's different from what

Turkey the practices are very

similar - poultry in close

habitation with people. Dr Peter

Scott is a specialist in avian

influenza. He beliefs the H5N1

strain of the disease is a far

bigger threat for nations where

cockfighting is common. There

handling cocks and suck secretions cockfighting is common. There people

from the wounds of the bird and

the mouth and obviously people are from the wounds of the bird and from

handling very sick and diseased

birds with bird flu and handling

extroo Creta from the birds and birds with bird flu and handling the

that's how they're contaminated.

The agricultural practices tans

surveillance of the poultry

surveillance of the poultry industry is of high quality in Australia.

But, nounls nonetheless, if you

But, nounls nonetheless, if you have a migratery bird bringing in an

infection into the Northern

Territory as part of their normal

cycle of yearly activities, it's

quite - it's feasible to see that

quite - it's feasible to see that an infection could get into the local

bird industry. That's something

Australia simply can't Ied for to

let happen, according to one expert.

Professor Peter Curson estimates

bird flu has already cost the world

economy around $16 million. After

economy around $16 million. After 30 years studying Australian epidemics,

everything from influenza right

through to smallpox, he argues that

now Australia must do more to head

off what could become a major

off what could become a major health crisis. What we need is an

up-to-date computer-based system

over the whole of Australia where

vets and doctors and laboratories

anded animal hospitals can report

quickly and feftly to a centralised

authority. In Europe, the bird flu

outbreak has seen countries

surrounding Turkey implement

surrounding Turkey implement drastic mesh nurse a bid to head off the

disease. Even so they know too it

takes just one infected bird to fly

across their boarders and it might

be for nothing. At least now, thank

os the British research team

os the British research team success in cracking the genetic code, the

world is slightly better prepared.

The more we learn about how this

virus is transmit and how it

transfers from country to country,

the better the place will be we