Avian Flu

Children and H5N1

A risk to children

Flu or cold?

Taking action

What we do


Children and H5N1

© UNICEF Malaysia/2006/Nadchatram

The periodic outbreak of bird flu among wild and domestic birds and the rare but increasing cases among people in Southeast Asia is of concern.

Should the H5N1 virus change into a human strain, it would make it possible for person to person transmission and trigger a human flu pandemic.

A pandemic would affect all populations regardless of national boundaries or socio-economic status. Every aspect of children’s lives could be seriously threatened.

The best course of action to save children and their families from the threat of a human flu pandemic is to prevent the H5N1 virus from mutating into a human strain.

UNICEF is collaborating with national governments and partners to control bird flu and to prepare for a possible pandemic. Our actions are part of a coherent UN system response, guided by the technical agencies for animal and human health:

  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • UN System Influenza Coordinator (UNSIC)

In Malaysia, UNICEF is working with the Government and the media on a communication program that will inform, educate and enable families and communities to protect themselves and their healthy livestock from H5N1 infection.  



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