Timely topic

I wonder if there will be much discussion of pandemic risks at next week’s annual seminar of the International Insurance Society. I suspect the subject will come up.

The possibility of an avian flu pandemic likely would have been a topic for discussion at a gathering of the world’s top insurance executives in any case. But, of course, as insurance industry leaders prepare to head to Berlin for next week’s gathering, the subject became even more timely Thursday with German officials indicating they are raising their assessment of the threat of avian flu in the country.

According to a Reuters report, they took the step after the announcement today that more birds there were determined to have died of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

The Reuters account noted that France Thursday also confirmed its first cases of bird flu in more than a year. Last year 13 European Union countries had bird flu cases, the news service said. And the disease continues to spread in Asia, killing two in Vietnam recently.

All in all, pandemic risk is one more timely topic for discussion at next week’s IIS meeting.

On the subject of this year’s IIS seminar, I will be traveling to Berlin tomorrow to cover next week’s meeting, and plan to post to the blog from there. Until then, auf wiedersehen bis Berlin.

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