New strain of Avian Flu

The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Office International des Épizooties (OIE), the world animal health organisation, have warned bird flu has mutated, with a new variant - called Fujian virus - becoming the dominant strain in Asia. Both organisations have called for constant checks of the effectiveness of vaccines, given the virus's shift in nature, which they said was not unexpected, given the tendency of viruses to evolve quickly.

"Influenza viruses in general have a high rate of change from season-to-season", said a joint spokesman, who said "vaccination control measures need to be accompanied by surveillance and post-vaccination monitoring" to ensure medicines still work.

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