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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ALMATY3147
2005-08-31 01:47:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
US Office Almaty
Cable title:  

KAZAKHSTAN AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE, AUGUST 26

Tags:   EAGR  TBIO  ECON  RS  ETRD  PGOV  KZ  POLITICAL 
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						UNCLAS  ALMATY 003147 

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CACEN (MUDGE), EUR/RUS (NOLL), EUR/PGI
(AYU), OES/IHA (COMELLA AND SINGER), OES/STC, NP/PTR
(CAMERON), EB/TPP/ATP, EB/TPP/BTA AND INR/REA
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR GH/RCS/EE/ROSENBERG
USDA FAS FOR ITP FOR MACKE/THOMAS, CMP/DLP WETZEL
FAS PLEASE PASS TO APHIS AND FSIS
DEFENSE FOR USDP/CTR AWEBER
HHS FOR WSTEIGER, PBUDASHEWITZ
CDC FOR SBLOUNT, EMCCRAY
BRUSSELS PLEASE PASS TO APHIS/FENANDEZ
ANKARA FOR FAS ATTACHE HIGGISTON
GENEVA FOR HEALTH ATTACHE
TASHKENT FOR ESTH
DTRA FOR CTB

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR TBIO ECON RS ETRD PGOV KZ POLITICAL
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE, AUGUST 26

REF: (A) ALMATY 2842

(B) ALMATY 2904
(C) ALMATY 2957
(D) ALMATY 3085
(E) ALMATY 3091
(F) STATE 153802



1. (SBU) Summary: This cable supplements Refs A-E and
responds to the directive in paragraph 5 of Reft F. No/no
further reports of bird deaths, suspected AI, or human
contraction of AI have been made since August 15. GOK
authorities appear optimistic that they have succeeded in
containing the cases they have discovered. In the course of
delivering Ref F demarche, GOK officials provided Embassy
officers with greater insight into their approach to the
epidemic. End Summary.

National Preparedness Plan in Place


--------------------------





2. (SBU) Dr. Asylbek Kozhumratov, the Chairman of the
Veterinary Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, told
A/DCM and Econoff that he was "optimistic" about the short-
term outlook. He claimed that no cases of AI had been
registered on small farms since July 27 and no cases of mass
bird deaths had been reported since August 15. He put the
number of birds destroyed to prevent the spread of AI at
13,430 nationwide.



3. (SBU) When A/DCM referred to the need for national
preparedness plans, Kozhumratov explained that the GOK had
prepared one, and later provided the 15-page document to the
Embassy. Kozhumratov said that he felt the plan was good
but still too general. He hoped to get more specific
information about the Republic of Korea's detailed plan to
contain AI. (Note: We have informally contacted the ROK
Embassy in Almaty to convey this request for information.
End Note.) He was also concerned with vaccination - about
the existence and effectiveness of vaccines, and how soon
after vaccinating flocks can poultry and eggs be exported.



4. (SBU) The existence of the August 2005 national
preparedness plan demonstrates an organized GOK approach to
the problem. It addresses a very broad range of
circumstances, but appears to lack specifics. The plan
identifies the autumn and winter as much more risky times
for an outbreak, given bird migratory patterns and the
likelihood of similar viruses being in circulation among
humans and swine. The plan describes in general terms the
immediate and controlling actions to be taken as an outbreak
occurs.



5. (SBU) In its "conclusions" section, the plan dwells on
possibilities for vaccination and drug therapy, and is
ultimately pessimistic. The plan's authors discount the
idea of vaccinating flocks, at least once the virus is
suspected, because of the rapid spread of the virus. They
are more optimistic about the use of Tamiflu to treat

affected humans should there be suspected cases of human
infection, but believe the possibility of a Tamiflu-
resistant strain developing quickly to be high. The plan

underscores the necessity of quickly determining the
clinical value of two Russian drugs, "Arbidol" and
"Deytiforin." The plan also calls for the upgrade of
facilities at the National Center for Monitoring, Reference,
Laboratory Diagnostics and Veterinary Methodology so that
the facility can handle the most virulent influenza strains.



6. (SBU) Note: The named Center is slated to receive CTR-
funded laboratory upgrades under the CTR-funded Biological
Weapons Prevention Program (BWPP.) However, it is not one
of the facilities that the U.S. and Kazakhstan agreed would
be used for storage of the most dangerous pathogens (Level I
and II in the Russian nomenclature). In December 2004
Kazakhstan agreed to consolidate especially dangerous
pathogens at two different laboratories, one belonging to
the Ministry of Health and the other to the Ministry of
Education and Science. End note.

Ministry Concerned About Autumn Migration


--------------------------





7. (SBU) Embassy officers also met with the chairman of the
GOK's interagency coordinating committee for AI, First
Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Nurakhmet Bizhanov.
Bizhanov summarized the GOK's actions to date:

-Establishment of the coordinating committee under the
Ministry of Emergency Situations with representatives of the
Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Environmental Protection,
Interior, Transportation and Communications, Finance
(Customs Committee) and the KNB (Border Guards). This
structure is duplicated on the oblast level, and in many
cases on the sub-oblast (rayon) level.

-Public outreach: over 11,000 gatherings in agricultural
communities, 183 training sessions, 145 TV spots, 128 radio
spots, 178 newspaper articles and 18,000 leaflets
distributed.

-Sanitation and Prophylaxis: Quarantines and transportation
bans in affected oblasts, over 13,000 birds culled from
flocks, 289 sanitary/veterinary teams from the Ministries of
Health and Agriculture at work, and surveillance of over
13,000 lakes, ponds and rivers for signs of dead or diseased
fowl.



8. (SBU) Bizhanov also indicated that he met WHO officials
immediately before meeting the Embassy officers. He said
that he had requested information from WHO on the approaches
taken by other countries to address AI.



9. (SBU) While acknowledging the seriousness of the problem,
Bizhanov noted that the scale of Kazakhstan's outbreaks was
much smaller than that of Russia's. He echoed the
Agriculture Ministry's concerns about the country's

vulnerability to another outbreak during the autumn
migration season, and about the risk of a mutation that
would enable AI to infect swine, thus making transmission to
humans easier.



10. (U) Dushanbe Minimize considered.

ASQUINO


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