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Municipal Bird Flu Preparations Insufficient, Says Report

Finnish health care districts have not made sufficient preparations for a possible pandemic of bird flu, says Finland's National Emergency Supply Agency.

According to a report in the publication Mediuutiset, many health care districts have been waiting for the completion of a national bird flu plan from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. That plan is expected to be revealed next week. The head of the working group that issued the report is also urging health care districts to build up their stockpiles voluntarily. In response to the concerns raised, health care districts say that funding questions remain open.

Meanwhile in an attempt to prevent occurences of bird flu in Finland, new regulations came into force today, requiring poultry in certain areas to be kept indoors because of the bird flu threat. The regulations will stay in effect during the spring migration of birds - at least through the end of May. Areas considered at risk include the Åland Islands, the province of West Finland, and a few other municipalities.

YLE 24