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Haiti - Health : Import ban, a serious misunderstanding ?
08/06/2013 12:25:38

Haiti - Health : Import ban, a serious misunderstanding ?
Freddy Hidalgo, the Dominican Minister of Health, believes that the alleged ban on the import of chicken, eggs and meat from the Dominican Republic, is based on a "misunderstanding" noting also that he had not received any official notification from the Haitian authorities in this regard, pointing to some authorities and business leaders in the sector who aim to control this market.

Jose Rafael Vargas, the Dominican Senator of Espaillat province, described this ban "of insult to the dignity of the country..." The Senator recalls that what exists globally this is an epidemiological alert before the danger of a pandemic caused by the circulation of influenza A/H1N1 that concerns all countries, including Haiti [since August 2010, WHO], indicating that the avian flu is caused by the variants A/H5N1 and A/H7N1, should not be confused with the human influenza A/H1N1, describing this decision of "unjustified economic aggression" because it is not based on clinical support.

Rubén Silié, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Haiti, has insisted that there was no outbreak of avian influenza A/H5N1 in Dominican Republic, but some cases of human influenza A/H1N1 have made a dozen victims [the severe complication rate of this human flu, is of the order of 2 to 3%, similar to that of seasonal flu. There are treatments and a vaccine for the virus A/H1N1].

Jean-Philippe Derenne, Head of Pneumology Hospital Pitie-Salpetriere (France) said that "The H1N1 virus can not be called swine flu because it is an inter-human influenza [... ] the virus has not yet been isolated in the animal."

The National Confederation of Agricultural Producers of the Dominican Republic (CONFENAGRO), Wilfredo Cabrera believes that the Haitian authorities should better reflect before such a decision, which could have serious consequences especially on the Haitian economy, which is facing a threat food insecurity.

From a scientific point of view, the term "influenza A / H1N1" covers all the virus H1N1 subtype of influenza A, which covers the majority of seasonal human influenza. The full scientific name of the A/H1N1 of 2009 is "A/California/04/2009 H1N1).

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