(RIA Novosti) - A bird flu pandemic could inflict hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses within a year, an assistant director-general of the World Health Organization said Monday.
Margaret Chan said the virus was mutating to spread to humans and could cause global economic losses of $800 billion in the first year of the pandemic alone, according to data of the World Bank, reports Trend.
Chan said governments throughout the world must be persuaded to focus on bird flu and a human-to-human form because people have no immunity to the illness.
She added no country would be able to avoid a pandemic, but said most countries had already drafted special plans to fight avian influenza.
Since late 2003, about 200 people have died in the world from the H5N1 strain of the disease.