Saturday, January 14, 2006

New Zealand: Low Risk of Bird Flu in NZ, Says Study

New Zealand faces a medium risk of bird flu spreading, but Britain could be hit hard, an international study finds. British risk consultant Maplecroft has ranked 161 countries on its overall risk for a pandemic, and while New Zealand's overall risk is low, the risk rises to medium for an inability to contain an outbreak. Britain was the only Western country considered at extreme risk from the flu. It was 25th overall, but first among those countries to which the human virus is likely to spread.

Maplecroft attributed this to Britain's widespread urbanisation, high population density, and the large number of visitors to the country. Australia was assessed at low risk of not being able to control the disease, but faced a far higher risk of the virus reaching its shores and spreading. Overall, New Zealand was rated 145th out of 161 countries, behind Australia at 158. Read More ....

Source: The New Zealand Herald
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