US trains foreign scientists in bird flu testing

Two dozen scientists from 19 countries will be trained this week by the U.S. Agriculture Department in diagnostic testing for bird flu, the department said on Monday.

The one-week session at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, is the third in a series of "train the trainers" workshops devoted to testing for and diagnosis of the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Ron DeHaven, head of USDA´s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the goal was to prepare senior-level veterinarians and poultry-disease experts to train colleagues in lab procedures and protocols.

This week´s group of 24 scientists come Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, Mozambique, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Sudan, Taiwan, Uganda and Uruguay.

USDA said a total of 51 scientists from 34 countries attended two earlier sessions. Some nations, such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, took part in more than one session.