Australia is hosting a bird flu summit in the north-eastern city of Brisbane this week, as 21 delegates from the Asia-Pacific region gather to hear from health experts and disaster management specialists.

Vietnam has appealed for US$50 million in foreign aid to help tackle a possible pandemic. 40 of the 60 global human fatalities from bird flu have occurred in Vietnam. Australia plans to vaccinate all its citizens, though that could be months away.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downder said that "Only in the most extreme circumstances, the most dire circumstances, would we be reduced to closing our borders."

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