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Avian influenza and infectious diseases

14 June 2006

The national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil, China, India and South Africa have signed a statement on avian influenza and infectious diseases.

The statement stresses that the world faces the possibility of a new human influenza pandemic caused by the spread of avian influenza. All countries of the world should cooperate to address the present issues surrounding avian influenza, as well as continuing with long term global strategies to address other major and emerging infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The statement calls on world leaders, particularly those meeting at the G8 Summit in St Petersburg in July 2006, to implement the following recommendations.

  • Provide support to developing nations in the implementation of their own national strategies to address avian influenza and other infectious diseases.
  • Improve the coordination of global surveillance for the control of emerging and zoonotic diseases.
  • Mobilise global scientific and medical communities in order to develop new vaccines and drugs and new more rapid methods for the production of vaccines. Governments and the scientific community should also promote international cooperation between human health and veterinary experts to elaborate new methods for detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Encourage Governments to collaborate in the collection of clinical and epidemiological data implement strategies that allow clinical data to be accessed and shared, particularly in the early stages of a pandemic.
  • The world community must ensure that the focus on avian influenza does not compete with, but rather motivates the development of broad-based and sustainable infrastructure with the capacity to address an array of infectious disease threats globally.