News - December 13, 2007

Five million for bird flu

The Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs has put aside five million euros for a cooperation agreement between Wageningen UR, the University of Utrecht and the Animal Health Service (GD) Deventer to tackle avian influenza in Indonesia. A contract was signed this week.

The Dutch joint venture is intended to help stop the spread of avian influenza in Indonesia. It makes use of compartmentalisation, control of the disease on a regional basis. Bird flu has been a big problem in Indonesia since the first outbreak in 2003. It is the country with the highest incidence of fatal human infection from birds. So far 91 people have died. The Netherlands has been helping since 2005, training local experts to recognise the disease quickly and doing field tests on vaccine effectiveness. The Dutch consortium is led by Wageningen International.