China, World Bank kick off first bird/human flu prevention project

    BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- China and the World Bank launched here Thursday a joint project to help China prevent avian and human influenza.

    With funding of about 2.65 million U.S. dollars, the project aims to boost the country"e;s ability to prevent and deal with highly pathogenic avian influenza or a human influenza pandemic, control outbreaks and minimize their impact on China"e;s economic and social development, said a source with the World Bank China office.

    In the next two years, the project will provide training and guidance for local agriculture and health departments in 10 counties of eastern Anhui Province and northeastern Liaoning Province, the source said.

    Last year, approximately 90,000 fowl were contaminated and 47,000 died of the disease nationwide. In Tibet and Qinghai, 3,641migratory birds died from the disease.

    The Ministry of Health said that China witnessed 13 cases of human bird flu infection in 2006 and seven in 2005.

    Worldwide, a total of 58 countries have reported bird flu cases to date, with Indonesia the most affected, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.