News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Bird Flu Update: WHO Says 14 Have Bird Flu in Azerbaijan

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bird Flu Update: WHO Says 14 Have Bird Flu in Azerbaijan

I have maintained an update on this issue for some time. I've focused on Azerbaijan as a particularly distrubing hot spot. As I've noted in previous posts, the disturbing aspect about the flu cases in this region are that they occur in family clusters. Flu experts believe that these types of cluster cases will foreshadow an outbreak of the disease in a form that is transmitted from human to human. ...

According to MOSNews, quoting World Health Organization experts:

Experts from the World Health Organization suspect 14 more people are infected with bird flu in Azerbaijan where two girls died of the the H5N1 virus earlier this month, Interfax reported Monday.

A group of WHO experts reported their suspicions after visiting the Salyansky district of Azerbaijan, 150 km to the south of the capital Baku.

Earlier three residents of the district were provisionaly diagnosed with bird flu.
Updates 1 3/21/03 According to the Khaleej Times, quoting World Health Organization experts:
The dangerous strain of H5N1 bird flu has killed five people in Azerbaijan, and several victims had no apparent contact with dead or diseased poultry, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

A total of seven patients had tested positive for infection with the “highly pathogenic” strain of the H5N1 virus, which is dangerous to birds and humans, the WHO said in a statement.

Of the seven cases, which occured in the southeast and west of the country, “five cases were fatal,” it said.

In several cases, there was no history of direct contact between the human victims and birds, the WHO said. [my emphasis]

“Interviews with surviving family members have failed to uncover a history of direct exposure to dead or diseased poultry for several of the cases,” the WHO said.

WHO and Azeribaijani experts on the spot were investigating the source of the outbreak.

The investigation was focusing on the possibility that local residents may have collected feathers from the carcasses of dead swans, the organization said in a statement.
Update III 3/22/06According to Reuters:
An outbreak of bird flu in Azerbaijan that has killed five young people appears to be under control with no new infections for some time, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) local mission said on Wednesday.

The WHO in Geneva confirmed on Tuesday the five were infected with the deadly virus in the first human cases to hit the country, which lies on a crossroads between Europe and Asia.

Cristiana Salvi, spokeswoman for the WHO's mission in Azerbaijan, said there was no evidence to suggest human-to-human transmission -- scientists' worst case scenario that could lead to a global pandemic killing millions of people.
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