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Major bird fluid epidemic to hit the globe

The virus is "permanently adapting" and we have to find better vaccines, said Dr Patermann, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 21:30 IST

A major bird fluid epidemic will hit the globe, according to Dr Christian Patermann, Director Biotechnology, Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Forestry and Aqua Culture of the European Commission.
     
Talking to the Hindustan Times in Thursday, he said, "Its just a question of time but it may be sometime in February or March."
    
He said he would not be able to pinpoint where on the globe the epidemic is going to start.
 
Dr Patermann said their Directorate was constantly monitoring reports of bird flu throughout the globe. There were individual  reports from China, Africa, Russia.
 
His directorate along with Directorate of Health had spent over 30 mn Euros to find ways to combat Avian flu. With the Vietnamese, we are building a data bank on the most deadly variety of the virus HSN1, he added.    
    
The economic losses due to the avian bird flu is enormous seriously affecting the livelihood of large number of framers, he added. "We are hoping to come out with a good vaccine against bird flu in the next one and a half years."
   
The virus is "permanently adapting" and therefore we have to find better vaccines. One of the problem areas is that the virus is found in the excreta of birds.
    
Fortunately even though we have had the virus jump from bird to man it has not yet jumped from man to man. There are 150 persons dead due to avian flue globally, he added.
      
He said that agriculture, food, fisheries, forestry in Europe had a turnover of 1.6 trillion Euros which is double of the turnover of chemical and automotive industry.
   
The new area of nano technology can be used in agriculture by encapsulating or packaging a crop with nano structures which would enrich it either by  increasing its shelf life or adding a special smell, taste in it.

Fibres with nano sensors could remotely inform if diapers get wet of a child or a aged person, he added.
         
He said the Seventh Framework programme of the European Commission with a budget of  55 billion Euros and open to participation by non EU countries will be the largest international programme for Research and Development in the world. 
     
"India got just 0.5 million Euros  from the 2 billion Euros given for projects to 50 countries by our Directorate while China topped the list receiving 8 million Euros. We want to change this." he added.