Avian Flu: An Economic Assessment for Selected Developing Countries in Asia

Publication | March 2004
Avian Flu: An Economic Assessment for Selected Developing Countries in Asia

The purpose of this brief is to provide a preliminary economic assessment of avian flu on developing Asia.

The outbreak of avian flu in developing Asia in late 2003 to early 2004, following the scare caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in early 2003, attracted attention from policy makers, the international community, and the media. While suppression of information about avian flu in its early stages in Thailand had parallels with the experience of People's Republic of China with SARS, all stakeholders were very alert on avian flu and corrective actions were immediately put in place like the culling of chickens on a widespread scale, monitoring of humans, and introducing safeguard measures at airports.

Partly as a result of these measures, the hysteria associated with SARS was largely absent with avian flu despite the repeated warnings of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organisation about the dangers of widespread contagion. To date, the lessons of SARS control have been internalized, and by and large, there has been little panic over avian flu, an important reason being avian flu has so far been largely confined to poultry. Relatively few humans have been affected by the virus, with a small number of reported deaths.


  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Macroeconomic Impact: Alternative Scenarios
  • Scenario 1: Epidemic Remains Confined to Animals
  • Scenario 2: Epidemic Mutates into a Human Epidemic
  • Microeconomic Impact
  • Conclusions