US embassy cable - 06OSLO237

NORWAY AVIAN FLU RESPONSE UPDATE

Identifier: 06OSLO237
Wikileaks: View 06OSLO237 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Oslo
Created: 2006-03-01 17:39:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: ECON EAGR TBIO KFLU NO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS OSLO 000237 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
ASUNCION FOR DCM JOHNSON 
STOCKHOLM FOR FAS THURSLAND 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, EAGR, TBIO, KFLU, NO 
SUBJECT: NORWAY AVIAN FLU RESPONSE UPDATE 
 
REF: A. OSLO 1571 
 
     B. OSLO 1722 
 
1. (U) Effective February 15, 2006, the Norwegian Food Safety 
Authority has reinstated (reftel A) a ban on open air poultry 
farming in eight counties in southern Norway. The move comes 
in response to the discovery of H5N1 infected birds in Rugen, 
Germany.  Officials are preparing for the virus' eventual 
arrival in Norway as wild birds migrate north.  Norwegian 
veterinary authorities are increasing their monitoring and 
inspection regimens and the public has been asked to assist 
by reporting sightings of sick or deceased wild birds. 
Public health authorities have released a pandemic action 
plan that details Norway's response to a potential pandemic. 
 
2. (U) Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture officials stressed 
that the illness is currently confined to wild birds and that 
while migratory birds will likely bring the virus to Norway, 
the Ministry is working to limit potential spread of the 
virus to domestic foul by increasing blood testing for 
domestic poultry and closely monitoring the progress of the 
disease.  Should domestic poultry be affected, the Norwegian 
government plans to compensate poultry farmers for any 
required culling.  The majority of Norwegian poultry farms 
are concentrated in the southern third of the country. 
According to press reports, one dead swan was found in Oslo 
fjord on Wednesday but tests indicated that it did not have 
avian flu. 
 
3. (U) On February 16, 2006, the Norwegian government 
published its Plan for Prevention and Measures for Combating 
Avian Flu.  The plan had been in development for several 
months and was scheduled for release this week.  In a news 
conference unveiling the document, Norwegian Minister of 
Agriculture and Food Terje Riis Johansen said that the avian 
flu virus is closing in on Norway but is not yet a critical 
problem.  The plan includes measures to prevent infection, 
treat infected persons, and it defines response roles among 
public authorities should an outbreak occur.  The plan is 
available (in Norwegian) at 
http://odin.dep.no/hod/norsk/048071-070109/do k-bn.html.  As 
reported earlier (refs a and b) Norway plans to broadly 
distribute anti-viral drugs and vaccines using the Norwegian 
national health system.  Norway assumes a 30 percent 
infection rate should a pandemic become a reality and has 
plans to distribute treatment regimens to 1.4 million of its 
4.5 million population.  Norwegian health authorities have 
the power to impose quarantines, limit public events, and 
restrict travel in the event of a pandemic. 
Visit Oslo's Classified website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/oslo/index.cf m 
 
WHITNEY 

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