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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ROME435
2006-02-13 15:42:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

AVIAN INFLUENZA: FAO UPDATE ON ITALY, IRAQ,

Tags:  KFLU EAGR EAID CASC SENV SOCI TBIO NI IT GR BU UP AM AJ GG FAO WHO IQ AVIAN INFLUENZA 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS ROME 000435 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/EDA, EUR/SE, EUR/WE, NEA/ENA, EA/SEA, OES/IHA
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA GGOTTLIEB, PMORRIS; GH/KHILL, DCARROLL
AND BZINNER; AFR/MHARVEY, ALOZANO; EGAT A/AA JSMITH;
ANE/ACLEMENTS
USDA FOR OSEC STUMP/PENN/LAMBERT/CAINE, FAS
PETTRIE/HUGHES/CLERKIN, APHIS CLIFFORD/HOFFMAN
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH/USAID
HHS FOR OGHA (STEIGER)
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
PARIS FOR GCARNER
USEUCOM FOR ECJ4
VIENNA PASS APHIS
CAIRO PASS APHIS
MILAN PLEASE PASS TO TURIN OFFICE

FROM THE U.S. MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU EAGR EAID CASC SENV SOCI TBIO NI IT GR BU UP AM AJ GG FAO WHO IQ AVIAN INFLUENZA
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA: FAO UPDATE ON ITALY, IRAQ,
BULGARIA AND GREECE

REF: (A) 05 ROME 3949; (B) 05 ROME 3320; (C) 05 ROME 2979;

(D) 05 ROME 1142; (E) 05 ROME 3976; (F) 06 ROME 0087;
(G) 06 ROME 0000; (H) 06 UNROME 0315; (I) 06 UNROME 0430



1. Based on communications today between USMISSION UN Rome
staff and Dr. Juan Lubroth, FAO Senior Veterinary Officer,
FAO will conduct a press conference on February 14 at 10:30
a.m. The message that will be relayed will include the
following:



2. On the Government of Italy's efforts:
-- FAO applauds efforts by the Government of Italy (GoI) to
rapidly detect and control the spread of H5N1 in southern
Italy. Italian authorities took appropriate measures by
gathering samples from twenty-two dead swans on Thursday,
February 9; sending the samples to the FAO/OIE reference
laboratory, the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle
Venezie, in Padua where results of the H5N1 strain where
confirmed on Friday, February 10; and making a timely and
cogent public announcement on Saturday, February 11.
Subsequently, on February 12, the Ministry of Health's
Emergency Crisis Unit met in Rome and included FAO
representatives in this meeting. Italian authorities are
currently working to control the movement of poultry in/to
the three affected regions. The GoI has not yet asked for
FAO technical assistance. FAO is confident that Italian
authorities are very capable of handling the situation, as
Italy has had recent experience containing outbreaks among
commercial poultry caused by other Avian Influenza viral
strains, the country has a strong surveillance program, and
there is a highly advanced consumer protection system. The
Italian Chief Veterinary Officer will participate in the
FAO press conference tomorrow and plans to provide an
update on his government's efforts.



3. On swan die-offs in Bulgaria and Greece:
FAO has been expecting the reports of dead swans being
found along the migratory pathway that stretches from
Greece to Southern Italy and up through the Balkans and
encouraging surveillance in these regions. For example,
the swan death reported in Bulgaria was an extension of
that which occurred along the Danube delta last week.
Bulgaria is a beneficiary country of the Technical
Cooperation Program (TCP) that FAO launched for Eastern
Europe. The TCP aims to strengthen the capacity for
generating and sharing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
(HPAI) disease intelligence and using this to mount an
emergency preparedness plan to against the introduction of
HPAI in the region, specifically in relation to wild birds.
FAO recently launched TCPs in Cairo (for North Africa and
the Near East), Bamako (for West Africa), Nairobi (for East
Africa) and Budapest (for Eastern Europe). FAO has a
ceiling of $400,000 per TCP and is seeking additional donor
assistance to expand TCP activities.



4. On poultry culling in Iraq:
Last night, an FAO animal health and protection officer
returned to Cairo from Iraq. The officer was in northern
Iraq where he assisted in one of the largest government
operation to cull poultry. Culling is now very widespread
and the FAO officer is working with the Naval Military
Research Unit (NAMRU-3) based out of Cairo on monitoring
the situation and gathering information. FAO has indicated
that Iraq will need between 2-3,000 PPEs. Initial reports
from NAMRU-3 indicate that USAID plans to send PPEs while
USAID and/or other USG agencies plan to send diagnostic
equipment that will look for anti-bodies instead of the
virus. According to Lubroth, it is important that the
current strategy focus on detecting the virus now in dead
poultry rather than on detecting lingering anti-bodies in
live poultry.



5. Russia and Poland have called for a European emergency
meeting on Avian Influenza. That meeting is scheduled to
take place in Brussels from February 27-28.



6. Earlier, Lubroth made a plea once again for seconded
U.S.-trained veterinary/animal health officers for both
headquarters and in the field. FAO would like to place an
officer in Turkey and in the PRC for six months minimum
(Note: for the PRC, FAO specifically has requested retired
APHIS staff member Terry Wilson. Mr. Wilson was part of
the USG assessment team deployed to Turkey and has been
awaiting a USAID contract to conduct work in Africa. If Mr.
Wilson will not be contracted by USAID, FAO requested his
services. End Note) The organization is currently
attempting to recruit Larry Allen from the California
Department of Food and Agriculture for an assignment in
Rome. USMISSION UN ROME would appreciate a response to
previous cables on FAO requests for U.S. seconded officers
and technical assistance.



7. USMISSION UN ROME will continue to cover and widely
disseminate information on FAO activities to combat and
control Avian Influenza.

CLEVERLEY