Saturday, December 08, 2007

Deadly Human To Human Bird Flu Spread In China?

Man Dies Of H5N1, Father Now Infected, No Contact With Poultry Suspected

Why does this Reuters story make no mention at all of recent news that human to human transmission of the bird flu virus is now regarded as a fact by experts?
The father of a Chinese man who died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu last week has also been diagnosed with the disease, authorities said on Friday.

The National Disease Authority has confirmed that a 52-year-old man surnamed Lu from the Nanjing, capital of the eastern province Jiangsu, was feverish with the H5N1 strain on Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported on its Web site (

This latest case raises troublesome questions about how the man was infected.

Humans can contract H5N1 from close contact with infected birds, but scientists fear the disease could mutate into a version that spreads from person-to-person, risking wider outbreaks or even a global pandemic.

Lu's son died on Sunday from the same disease, making the question of how these two infections occurred especially important.

The Xinhua news agency had earlier reported that the son had had no contact with dead poultry and there had been no reported poultry outbreak in the province.

China has had 27 confirmed human deaths linked to the bird flu virus.

More from the BBC :

A statement on the Chinese ministry's website said a 52-year-old man in eastern Jiangsu province identified only by his surname, Lu, has been confirmed with the virus, just days after his 24-year-old son succumbed to it on 2 December.

WHO spokesman John Rainford said: "We are concerned. The fact that we have two cases here without necessarily a clear source of animal infection and within the same family means we need to make sure we do a thorough investigation."

The father began presenting symptoms on Monday and was confirmed as having the virus on Wednesday. He is being monitored in hospital.

Human To Human Bird Flu Transmission Is A Fact

World Health Organisation Confirms Humans Can Pass H5N1 To Each Other

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