Solidarity Needed in Face of Bird Flu, Says Cardinal

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 5, 2004 ( The bird flu crisis hitting Asia calls for solidarity on the part of Christians, says a representative of the Holy See.

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«Viruses and microbes have no borders,» said Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, during a press conference today.

The bird flu has been blamed for 17 deaths, according to Agence France-Presse. U.N. agencies believe that the virus is still not under control.

The cardinal said that in the face of epidemics such as this one, «industries must serve humanity, not just their own profit.»

The epidemic is one more proof that «we are all in the same boat,» and that «health has also been globalized,» he said.

The Holy See official stressed that in this emergency countries must adopt the necessary measures. «Without violating the dignity of the human person, immigration must be controlled so that the disease does not spread,» he said.

«Immigration is a natural right,» he added. But it must take place «with the appropriate health controls.»

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