WHO Confirms First Human-to-human Bird Flu Transmission in Pakistan

by VR Sreeraman on  December 28, 2007 at 4:05 PM Bird Flu News
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WHO Confirms First Human-to-human Bird Flu Transmission in Pakistan
Experts with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday confirmed the first case of inter-human transmission of bird flu in Pakistan, but ruled out any risk of a widespread outbreak.

Laboratory tests established that the person had been infected with the potentially fatal H5N1 strain of the virus, even though had not been in contact with contaminated poultry.

"Because we have an individual not directly exposed to sick birds suggests a limited human-to-human transmission," said spokesman John Rainford told AFP.

Human-to-human contamination has been reported in Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam in recent months, but has not spread beyond a single person. A suspected case in China was denied by the authorities there.

In the latest case in Pakistan, a WHO statement said preliminary checks had found "no evidence of sustained or community human to human transmission."

It added: "All identified close contacts including the other members of the affected family and involved health care workers remain asymptomatic and have been removed from close medical observation."

Experts fear that if the H5N1 strain mutates into a highly contagious form, it would provoke a pandemic on the scale of the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, which claimed tens of millions of lives.

The WHO team was sent after the ministry announced the death of a man who was one of six people infected with the H5N1 strain in North West Frontier Province along the Afghanistan border.

A brother of the victim also died before being tested for the virus. Both had worked on a cull of infected poultry.

Source: AFP

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The strategy to prevent hundreds of millions of people dying across the globe from the Avian Flu pandemic is totally flawed. This reliance that governments around the world have placed on predominantly vaccination (cure) only is a decision that history will record as one of the most insane and insidious decisions that has ever been taken by our political leaders. This assertion is based upon the facts that the eventual human-to-human killer virus that will emerge will be a new strain due to the fact that viruses constantly mutate and that owing to the initial incubation period for bird flu to show its ugly face, the virus will have spread like wildfire across the world through millions travelling internationally on a daily basis. Indeed, the avian flu strain is 20 times more virulent than the 1917 Spanish flu that killed between 50 million and 100 million people, but where this time, literally hundreds of millions will literally perish with this ill thought out strategy by our political leaders and governments. What should have been undertaken is that this highly contagious disease should have been addressed at its source (prevention) and where history again will confirm this eventual conclusion. Unfortunately by then, this terrible event will have taken place. Governments should rethink therefore before it is too late and adopt predominantly a ‘field’ strategy, for this is the only strategy that will work and stop the unimaginable happening. Governments have been warned continuously, but where they do not wish to listen due to the powerful overtones delivered to our political leaders..One has to remember also that since 2003 the human mortality rate through the bird flu virus has been 62% and where only 38 people on average out of every hundred has survived. Overall therefore it has to be said that these vast profit-orientated pharmaceutical companies have not stopped any of these deaths through their highly expensive drugs and where things will be no different when the eventual pandemic arrives. It is hoped therefore that for the sake of humankind, that a major sea change takes place within the thinking of our political leaders in 2008, from one of cure to prevention, and before time literally runs out on us all. These are not fear factors but factors derived from pure logic and facts determined by some of the leading authorities on the subject.

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