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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

A thread for potential h2h cases?

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northern_mamma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A thread for potential h2h cases?
    Posted: February 19 2006 at 10:55am

Again, I'm relatively new here but wondering if there is an area specifically dedicated to potential h2h cases so we can monitor them more closely. Here are three I've seen in the past 24 hours:

1) Bird flu spreads, India tests dozens of people
19 Feb 2006 12:57:54 GMT Source: Reuters:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1988090.htm

"Preliminary investigations by the rapid response teams at Navapur indicate that this patient had no exposure to poultry," a federal health ministry statement said."

2) People's Daily Online China: Bird flu kills Thai boyBird flu kills Thai boy, UPDATED: 10:49, February 19, 2006

http://english.people.com.cn/200602/19/eng20060219_244036.ht ml

"The boy died in hospital on Wednesday, Thai Deputy Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakula was quoted as saying. He was not known to have had direct contact with chickens, but investigations are continuing. "

3) Khaleej Times: India to Begin Testing Humans for H5N1, (AP)19 February 2006

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/Displayarticle.asp?section=subco ntinent&xfile=data/subcontinent/2006/february/subcontine nt_february769.xml

"Meanwhile, a scientist said an unknown number of people in the area were reported to be suffering from flu and fever, though there was no immediate indication they had contracted bird flu."  (Posted earlier in another forum by a member.)

~~~

NM

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stardust Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2006 at 12:19pm

I think that's a good idea. There are so many stories now it's hard to keep track. Plus H2H is what we are all watching out for.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2006 at 12:21pm
Good idea.... we'll see if it has legs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2006 at 12:47pm
Thanks, that'd be great. I hope we learn that in each of those three cases it was the result of some sort of bird contact; will just have to wait it out I suppose...

BTW, I have a Google News Alert set up for bird flu, it works great and I get many stories emailed three or four times a day. I imagine a number of you are doing the same or something similar. Very helpful to get that news pushed to the inbox.

NM

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cosmicpixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2006 at 1:32pm

i posted this on a thread yesterday-

www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_17/en/index.html

IRAQ,39 yr old man died 27ht January after showing symptoms on 18th Jan.He was the uncle of the countrie's first case,a 15 yr old girl who died 17th Jan.He had cared for her while she was ill,BUT did have a history of being in contact with infected birds,SO,it can't be H2H for sure but then there is still the possibility it was....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 11:04am

I'm adding the following link (posted elsewhere, but I'm trying to place all possible h2h articles in one place. I find this particularly alarming, given Dr. Niman response to it. He says:

"The hospitalization of relatives of the suspected fatal bird flu case in western India is cause for concern.  Initial media reports indicated that the index case tested positive for bird flu.  Later reports indicated he was not a bird flu case because of a lack of contact with birds.

Bird flu is widespread in the area (see
map) and dead crows  with H5N1 symptoms were reported in Mumbai last year.  Historically, India has denied H5N1 in poultry and people, even though poultry workers had H5N1 antibodies and the H5N1 positive bar-headed geese at Qinghai Lake winter in India.

More details on testing of the deceased patients and relatives would be useful.  Nose and throat swabs of H5N1 patients in acute respiratory distress are frequently
negative."

http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=276891&arc hisec=REG&archisubsec=

It's short enough, I'll paste it below. I think that brings to FOUR the number of potential h2h cases we are now watching?

Source: ZEENET News

Mother, Son having  [sic]   
Navapur (Maha), Feb 20: The mother and brother of a 27-year-old man, who the authorities said died of "acute respiratory distress" and not because of Bird Flu, have shown symptoms of mild flu and have been hospitalised here.

Ganesh Bhai Ramesh Bhai Sonar, who hailed from Navapur, died yesterday in a hospital in neighbouring Surat and officials said his death was due to acute respiratory distress and was not related to the avian influenza.

They said he had "no exposure to poultry". Ramesh Sonar, father of Ganesh, said today that his wife and another son, who were with the deceased when he was admitted to the hospital in Surat, have shown some symptoms of mild flu and have been hospitalised here.

"The hospital authorities were not telling us anything about their condition. The entire hospital has been cordoned off," he said.

Bureau Report
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 1:42pm

Please add the following link to your browser to keep up to date with
H2H.

The following site is superior to Google most of the time, it provides real-
time updates from over 22,000 news sources.

I live in an eastern standard time zone. Northern_Mamma, and anyone
else in a different time zones, could keep an eye peeled.


http://newsnow.co.uk/newsfeed/?name=Bird+Flu
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deej Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 1:49pm
 thanks rick
dee
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 2:30pm

Excellent, Rick, thanks much. And yes, I'll keep a vigil over here on the West Coat. :-)

Northern Mamma

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smaug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 2:43pm
I agree we should have a separate thread for H2H transmission.  With most of the third world having cases it is just a matter of time before a successful mutation of H5N1 occurs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 3:21pm
Thanks for the feedback, Smaug. Do you mean we should keep this thread going or start a new one? (Doesn't matter to me, I have no sense of ownership about it, I just want to make sure we can all find the h2h info as quickly and easily as possible.)

I guess I'm asking on behalf of the moderator--if you (or others) feel it should be moved or  if we should just continue to follow this one. I can see it's getting hit pretty hard with page views so assume there is a lot of interest in it. Not difficult to understand, I guess.

(Would just ask if it's moved we port the above messages over so we carry our "tally" with us.

NM

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2006 at 1:42am

Here's another one to watch:

www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1631996,001300820000.htm

8 fresh human cases suspected as culling continues

Press Trust of India

Navapur (Maharashtra), February 21, 2006

"There are eleven patients now admitted in the isolated ward for suspected bird flu, including eight who were admitted on Monday following door-to-door survey and three others were admitted on Sunday," Munde said.

The blood samples of all these people were sent to National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing and reports are expected in three days, he added.

The three patients, who were admitted on Sunday, were those in contact with the Ganesh Sonar who died in Surat last week and two of his family members, Munde said."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gypsybeach1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2006 at 11:08pm
hey, didn't a previous article say that ganesh had no
exposure to poultry and died of "acute respritory
distress. and then his mother and brother were
admitted with flu symptoms? and now an additional
3 more that were in contact with ganesh. this sounds
like a significant cluster.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northern_mamma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2006 at 9:48am
Yup.
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Human bird flu: Final result awaited

Navapur No sign of pneumonia in last patient, doctors say likely to be negative

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 23: Government officials, awaiting the report on the last of the five samples that indicated human case of bird flu during preliminary tests, are hopeful this sample too would finally test negative for H5N1.

According to them, no patient in the isolation ward at Navapur, from whom the samples were taken, showed any sign of bird flu. X-rays of all the patients reveal no sign of pneumonia. ‘‘This patient (whose report is awaited) is no different than the other patients in Navapur. So we are hoping even this sample will test negative,’’ said Dr NK Ganguly, Director General, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Although the government is not willing to reveal the identity of the patient, Dr Ganguly said the patient did not show any sign of pneumonia.

There is another reason for the confidence that the test will be negative. ‘‘The peak season for contracting pneumonia is over,’’ said Dr Ganguly.

The delay in getting the result of one of the five samples had more to do with technicality than anything else, said the doctor.

‘‘We get results cross-checked at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in Delhi and the National Institute of Virology, Pune. While the four samples that showed negative results were tested at both the laboratories, the sample in question couldn’t reach NIV on time,’’ he said.

The reasons cited for the delay in taking the sample to NIV, however, did not sound satisfactory. ‘‘It was a mistake, as we were handling a large number of samples and missed this one,’’ he said.

Dr Ganguly said the sample was flown to NIV during the day and the result was expected on Saturday. According to him, the five samples had to go through a series of tests and the sample in question missed the last and the most crucial one, the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). ‘‘We had to cross-check results of the final test and this is causing the delay (in the final report),’’ said Ganguly.

Nashik village boy dead, samples with NIV: Doctors at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital have sent blood samples of a 12-year-old boy, who died last night, to Pune’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) for a bird-flu virus test.

This is the first such sample from Mumbai. Doctors, however, said there was no cause for alarm. They had sent the samples ‘‘to be sure’’ and didn’t think those would test positive for bird flu.

Bhushan Sanjay Ahire, who was from a village in Nashik district, was admitted to the hospital at 10 p.m. on Wednesday with ‘‘a query of bird flu’’, according to doctors. He was kept in an isolation ward and died at 11.30 p.m.

The cause of death as reported in his death certificate was ‘lower respiratory tract infection with septicaemia’. But doctors thought it prudent to send his blood samples to Pune for two reasons. ‘‘One, he was in close contact with poultry products and second his clinical symptoms were similar to those of Avian influenza,’’said Health Secretary AM Khan.

Navapur traffic restrictions: Restrictions on movement to and from the 3-km radius of Navapur, the epicentre of bird flu, would be further intensified if the results of the blood samples of patients under observation is found positive, a senior police official of Navapur said today. Twelve people are under observation at the isolation ward of the local sub-district hospital.

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=88486

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Falcon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2006 at 7:49pm

Suspected Human-To-Human
Bird Flu Transmission In Vietnam

NewScientist.com
1-22-5

 
Two more people in Vietnam have been confirmed to have contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus, as the known death toll in the country since the start of 2005 has risen to seven. There are at least seven more cases suspected.
Worryingly, two cases now in hospital might have caught the virus from another person, not from an infected fowl. Overall, these cases also suggest that many human infections with H5N1 may not have been diagnosed, partly because tests are not reliable or widely available.
The more people that have the virus, the more chances it will have to adapt to humans and possibly unleash a pandemic, warned Hans Troedsson of the World Health Organization in Vietnam. The WHO's biggest bird flu fear is that the virus will evolve to spread from human to human. Troedsson called it a "disappointment [that] the international community is not responding more adequately to the threat".
At the start of this week, six human cases of H5N1 flu had been diagnosed in Vietnam since the start of 2005. All have now died. Moreover, a 47-year-old man who died last week in Hanoi had twice tested negative for H5N1. He is now reported to have tested positive the third time around.
This suggests that H5N1 is being wrongly ruled out in many suspected cases. The man was only re-tested because his younger brother, who had been caring for him, had also fallen ill. The brother's initial test for H5N1 also came back negative, but two subsequent tests were positive. No contact
The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that the brother, who is in stable condition and expected to recover, had no contact with chickens, and did not live near a flu outbreak in poultry.
That, and the fact that he fell ill some two weeks after his brother, suggests he might have contracted the virus from his sibling. A third family member, a younger brother, is now also in hospital with suspected bird flu.
The only case of probable human-to-human transmission confirmed in the Asian outbreak was in Thailand in 2004, when a mother contracted the disease after nursing her sick child in hospital.
But Nguyen Tran Hien, head of Vietnam's National Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene, told journalists on Friday that it was too early to conclude that the cases were due to human-to-human transmission. A week before the eldest brother fell ill, the family is said to have slaughtered and eaten a duck, which can harbour the virus without showing symptoms. Sputum samples
The cases in Vietnam underscore the difficulties in diagnosing the virus, which might mean human cases are more widespread than previously thought.
Tawee Chotpitayasunondh of Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health in Bangkok, Thailand, and colleagues report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that in a fifth of the suspected H5N1 cases in Thailand that tested negative, the sputum samples taken for testing were "inadequate".
The team concluded that the small number of human cases reported, despite the massive spread of the virus in poultry across east Asia, is because the illness is hard to distinguish from common pneumonia and because specific diagnostic tests are not widely available.
The virus continues to spread among poultry in Vietnam, with 29 new outbreaks reported by the Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday alone. And this week Thailand reported its first outbreak in poultry for two months, in the east of the country, as well as a suspected human case.
© Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6912
 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Falcon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2006 at 7:58pm

Turkish government accused of slow response to bird flu as human cases rise
14:36:59 EST Jan 12, 2006

DOGUBAYAZIT, Turkey (AP) - Local officials accused the Turkish government on Thursday of moving too slowly to slaughter fowl when bird flu was still confined to birds, as Turkey says the number of people infected with the H5N1 strain climbed to 18.

Mukkades Kubilay, the mayor of Dogubayazit - where three siblings died a week ago - complained that the central government in Ankara had sent in only three doctors and that there were not enough workers to destroy poultry.

"It's an extraordinary situation," she told The Associated Press. "There aren't enough workers. We don't have enough technical people ... We're trying to do it on our own."

National health and agriculture authorities denied they did too little, too late, to contain the outbreak, which was discovered in poultry in December.

"Whoever says that we've responded too slowly has ill intentions," Health Ministry spokeswoman Mine Tuncel said.

Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker insisted there was no delay in responding to the first reports of infected birds on Dec. 15 and culling of poultry began immediately. "The fight against this disease had been pursued through a clear and transparent policy," he said.

Questions about whether the government acted aggressively enough early in the outbreak emerged as officials tried to contain the disease, which Eker said had been confirmed in 11 of Turkey's 81 provinces and was suspected in 14 others.

European Union experts urged countries bordering Turkey to step up checks on any possible spread of the bird flu outbreak and prepare measures to control the disease.

Turkish health authorities, meanwhile, raised the number of people infected with H5N1 to 18 from 15, after it turned up in preliminary tests on two people hospitalized in southeastern Turkey and in a lung of an 11-year-old girl who died last week in the same region. The girl was the sister of two teenagers who became the first fatalities outside East Asia, where the strain has killed 76 people since 2003.

Although three of the 18 people with the virus have died, several others are in stable condition or show few signs of illness, suggesting the virus may not be as deadly as had been believed. Previously, more than half of those confirmed to have contracted the disease died.

Eight-year-old Sumeyya Mamuk, who became infected with bird flu after embracing dying pet chickens, was released from a hospital in the eastern city of Van on Thursday.

Health Minister Recep Akdag was optimistic. "The EU and the world will see Turkey put its signature on a great success," he told the Cihan news agency. "The fact that we have handled the affair from the onset with openness and determination is a clear indication."

Most human infections have been linked to direct contact with sick poultry, including both of the latest victims, who the Health Ministry said came from the southeastern provinces of Siirt and Sanliurfa.

Authorities said 355,000 birds had been slaughtered countrywide as a precaution, including 27,000 in Dogubayazit.

But Agriculture Ministry workers trying to round up and destroy all fowl in Dogubayazit complained they had only 24 people working in a city of 56,000 and it could take them a month to finish the job.

In Ankara, where three human cases have been detected but the destruction of birds has been confined to the patients' neighbourhoods, former president Suleyman Demirel handed over his own dozen chickens as an example to Turks.

But Zeki Ismailogullari, chief official in the village of Karakent outside Dogubayazit, expressed bewilderment as villagers - including some children who wore masks but handled birds with their bare hands - brought fowl in sacks and wheelbarrows to a destruction site.

"Before, when a guest came to our village, we'd cut up a goose or a turkey for them," he said. "Now what will we cut up?"

 

http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/060112/w011254.html

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2006 at 8:17pm

Posted on Sun, Feb. 19, 2006

India begins mass slaughter of fowl

AJIT SOLANKI
Associated Press

NAVAPUR, India - Health officials and farm workers in protective clothing began slaughtering hundreds of thousands of chickens in western India on Sunday, hoping to prevent the spread of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.

Europe stepped up its battle against bird flu as the European Union's top poultry producer, France, grappled with its first reported case of the lethal virus.

European poultry farmers said consumption has fallen and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Germany ordered some birds killed on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen. The number of deadly flu cases in Italy rose to 16.

Indian officials reported a 27-year-old poultry farm owner had died of bird-flu-like symptoms, though tests had yet to determine what killed him.

"At this juncture we can only suspect that the cause of his death could be bird flu," Surat district officer Vatsala Vasudev told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Workers in Navapur, a major poultry farming region in western Maharashtra state, dumped bird carcasses and gloves, goggles and blue gowns used by health teams into deep pits at poultry farms.

Bird flu has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 91 people, mostly in Asia, since 2003, according to the World Health Organization. Most human cases of the disease have been linked to contact with infected birds.

Scientists fear that the virus could mutate into a form that is easily transmitted among humans, sparking a pandemic.

Since early Sunday, more than 200,000 chickens had been killed in Navapur of about 500,000 expected to be slaughtered within a 1.5-mile radius, said Anees Ahmed, the Maharashtra state minister for animal husbandry.

Poultry farms were closed to everyone but health officials and workers in protective gear. Chicken shops were shuttered.

The government has banned the sale or transport of chickens from the area, and checkpoints have been set up to inspect trucks.

India exports some $84.4 million worth of poultry products a year to Europe, Japan and the Middle East, and has seen a rise in overseas orders in the past year as countries such as Indonesia struggled to control bird flu outbreaks.

"Now countries will shut us out," said Ajit Ranade of the Bombay Veterinary College.

Neighboring Nepal on Sunday said it was banning imports of all poultry and poultry products from India, while Bangladesh said it would step up surveillance along its border with India to prevent smuggling of birds into the country.

In Egypt, authorities closed the Cairo zoo after six of 83 birds that died there recently tested positive for the H5N1 strain. Health authorities said tests still had not found the disease in humans.

Egyptian officials, meanwhile, pleaded with citizens not to dispose of dead chickens, turkeys or other birds by throwing them in the roads, irrigation canals or the Nile River.

"More than 90 percent of the cases so far have been found in poultry kept in cages on roofs or balconies of apartment buildings. We ask the people to cooperate and not to dump anything into the Nile, please," Health Minister Hatem Mustafa el-Gabaly said.

France on Saturday joined Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in the ranks of countries with deadly bird flu in Europe.

Some farmers in the southeastern French town of Joyeux, where the infected wild duck was found, began slaughtering their birds as a precaution.

"I panicked," 64-year-old Gabrielle Josserand said after killing her two geese and eight ducks. "But I chose to act right away."

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/breaking_news/13 907638.htm

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Sounds like Vietnam is close to sustained H2H with three people people sick in one househould within weeks of each other.  They say they killed a duck, but a couple of weeks passed so that would rule out all of them contracting it from the duck.  It would be nice to see the outcome of the study of the virus in those 3 patients...our 'pros' on here (Joe, Dr. Niman, Rick) should be made aware of this so they can keep an eye out...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Falcon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2006 at 8:23pm

Summary:

< =text/> < src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js" =text/>
  • A 35-year-old woman who tested positive for the bird flu virus died Friday in south Vietnam, medical officials reported Saturday.
  • A 17-year-old boy, who died on Jan. 15 in Bac Lieu province, also had the virus, said officials.
  • The virus has claimed nine lives in the country since Dec. 30.
  • The high number of victims may indicate the coming of a global pandemic that could cause more devastation than last month's tsunami, the World Health Organization says.
  • "If we continue to experience these frequent new outbreaks with the virus spread both in poultry and people, it finally might result in an awful virus strain that could become a pandemic with a horrendous outcome," said Hans Troedsson, WHO's representative in Vietnam.
  • Three new bird flu deaths were confirmed this week, prompting concerns from WHO about the high fatality rate.
  • WHO fears that the H5N1 bird flu virus could mutate into a deadly human form.
  • It is urging countries and drug companies to speed development and production of a vaccine.
  • So far there are no signs that the virus is being transmitted easily between people.
  • However, WHO says recent epidemiological and laboratory studies reveal unusual features suggesting that the virus may be evolving in ways that increasingly favour the start of a pandemic.
  • There are another nine suspected human cases of bird flu under investigation, including two in hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and four in Hanoi, two of which are in a critical condition.
  • Eighteen of Vietnam's 64 provinces and cities have been hit by the new outbreak of bird flu.
  • Since the end of 2003, outbreaks of bird flu have killed 38 people: 27 in Vietnam, and another 12 in Thailand.

http://www.newstarget.com/004314.html

 

gee I wonder why they're pushing everyone into coming up with vaccines for humans

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