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Time to Implement Orders to Report Infectious Diseases is Now
May 28, 2005
>> All Things Considered, May 27, 2005 · International law requires nations to report outbreaks of only three diseases: cholera, plague and yellow fever. That's changing under sweeping new regulations approved this week that require nations to tell the World Health Organization about any outbreak with the potential to spread across borders. <<
The new regulations passed at the World Health Assembly last week would significantly strengthen WHO's ability to monitor and control infections diseases. Diseases like bird flu would be reportable. WHO would have broader powers to investigate outbreaks, including contacting scientists directly via e-mail and bringing pressures to bare on transparency.
UN members including the US and China, have signed off of the new regulations, but it could take two years to implement.
The H5N1 situation in Qinghai China, with over 1000 birds deads and reports of 121 humans dead, is an excellent example of why the time to implement the approved regulations is NOW.