WHO claims no evidence of a human form of Bird Flu
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now stated that the bird flu virus aflicting many Asian countries has not changed into a form capable of easy human-to-human transmission.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now stated that the bird flu virus aflicting many Asian countries has not changed into a form capable of easy human-to-human transmission.It says its latest assessment is based on further tests of suspected cases in Vietnam. The United Nations agency had earlier said it was possible that two sisters who died in Vietnam had caught the disease from their brother, who also died of the disease.The WHO says a follow-up investigation by virologists in Hong Kong has failed to find any human genes in the virus samples taken from the sisters. It says this indicates that the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu has not changed to a form easily transmitted from one person to another.The WHO says no illness has been reported in other family members of the siblings who died, in the local community, or in health workers involved in the care of these patients. Meanwhile, a 24-year-old Cambodian woman who died last week is suspected of having been infected with the bird flu virus.She’s the sixth person in Cambodia suspected of carrying the deadly H5N1 avian influenza, which has killed 18 people in Vietnam and Thailand. The World Health Organisation says it is investigating the case but suspects the woman died of bird flu because she had been in contact with ill chickens.(Source: ABC Health News Online, Feb 2004)