Pacific flu threat 'serious as ever': WHO

Pacific flu threat 'serious as ever': WHO

Pacific flu threat 'serious as ever': WHO

Updated 19 December 2011, 14:06 AEDT

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the threat of avian flu in the Pacific region is as serious as ever.

Members of the WHO's western Pacific region are currently in South Korea to discuss ways to combat bird flu after reports that many countries do not have the minimum systems in place to deal with an outbreak.

The WHO's director for communicable diseases, Tee Ahsian, says in the western Pacific region, the avian influenza situation remains serious and the human influenza pandemic threat shows no sign of abating either.

He says the virus has become entrenched in many parts of Asia and since 2003 has killed about 200 people.

Most of the human cases were contracted through contact with sick birds or their faeces but there have also been documented cases of human-to-human transmission.

The WHO guidelines on responding to a bird flu epidemic call for quarantine and distribution of the drug Tamiflu.