Israel, Jordan set up flu hot line

A day after Health Minister Dan Naveh said Israel was unlikely to escape an outbreak of avian flu, officials from the Israeli and Jordanian veterinary services met Thursday at the Allenby Bridge to discuss ways to combat a possible outbreak of the disease. 'The meeting was very good. Each side presented its plan; we will study their plan, they will study our plan and we will meet again within two weeks to discuss practical measures,' said Dr. Moshe Haimovitch, head of Agriculture Ministry's veterinary service. 'If anything happens prior to our next meeting, we will update each other by phone, using a special hot line we have set up.' Officials from Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority did not attend the meeting, but Haimovitch said the Jordanians are in contact with their neighbors, so there is indirect regional cooperation. 'I hope [regional cooperation] will develop further,' he said. Meanwhile, Europe's top health officials were to meet Thursday to discuss how to prevent bird flu from jumping to humans on the continent and plan how to handle it if it does.