Jump to content
MrsSurvival Discussion Forums

SURPRISE!!! (not)

Guest Guest

Recommended Posts

Guest Guest

WHO: Bird flu likely spread among family members in Indonesian cluster


Thu Jun 22 2006 02:29:02 ET


The World Health Organization concluded that human-to-human transmission likely occurred among seven relatives who died from bird flu on Indonesia's Sumatra Island, while an animal health expert said the disease was more widespread in poultry than previously thought.


In a report obtained by The Associated Press, WHO experts said the cluster's first case was probably infected by sick birds and spread the disease to six family members living in a remote village. One of those cases, a boy, then likely infected his father, it said.


The U.N. agency stressed the virus had not mutated in any major way and that no cases were detected beyond members of the family, who died last month.


"Six confirmed H5N1 cases likely acquired (the) H5N1 virus through human-to-human transmission from the index case ... during close prolonged contact with her during the late stages of her illness," the report said.










Wednesday, June 21, 2006 · Last updated 6:35 p.m. PT


Scientists want bird flu report withdrawn





Chinese scientists said Wednesday that a man initially thought to have SARS actually died of bird flu in November 2003 - two years before the communist country reported any human bird flu infections on the mainland to the World Health Organization. At the last minute, the scientists asked without explanation to withdraw the report, but a medical journal had already printed it.


The man's death in Beijing raises the possibility that other cases attributed to SARS may have actually been the deadly H5N1 flu.


"It's hard to believe that this is the only person in all of China who developed H5N1" that year, said Dr. John Treanor, a flu expert at the University of Rochester.


WHO was surprised by the report, which came not from the Chinese government but from eight scientists in a research letter in the New England Journal of Medicine.


"We will formally request the Ministry of Health to clarify this," and why it has taken more than two years to come to light, said Roy Wadia, a WHO spokesman in China.


At least one scientist e-mailed the journal Wednesday morning, asking that the report be withdrawn. With the article already in print, journal editors were waiting to see whether the authors would now retract the paper.


"We can't speculate" what the problem was, said journal spokeswoman Karen Pedersen.


The Beijing case does not necessarily mean the world faces any greater danger of a pandemic; bird flu does not spread easily from person to person, and nearly all human cases have involved close contact with infected poultry.


But the report raises questions about the ability and willingness of scientists in China to study the disease. During the SARS outbreak, some public health experts questioned whether the Chinese were being candid about the extent of the crisis.


Dr. Lindsey Baden, a New England Journal editor, said he does not know what caused the delay in reporting the Beijing bird flu case but suspects it took time for scientists to realize they had a novel H5N1 strain and to do the genetic sequencing needed to analyze it.


"It's to be praised that they are doing this kind of work and sharing it," Baden said.


Efforts to reach the Chinese scientists for comment were unsuccessful. They are from the Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, the 309th Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, the Beijing Genomics Institute and were led by Dr. Wu-Chun Cao at State Key Laboratory of Pathogens and Biosecurity.


Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a virologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo, said the Chinese may now be taking a look at other SARS cases to see whether they were bird flu.


It was not until 2005 that China reported its first human cases of bird flu outside Hong Kong. Eight infections and five deaths were recorded that year. So far this year, China has reported at least 10 infections and seven deaths.


The SARS outbreak began in China in November 2002 but was not recognized until the following spring. More than 1,450 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome were confirmed, the vast majority in Asia. However, some were diagnosed not by lab tests but based on symptoms, which are very similar to those of bird flu.


The New England Journal report raises the possibility that the two dangerous viruses emerged simultaneously.


The patient, a 24-year-old man with pneumonia and respiratory distress, died four days after he was hospitalized in 2003, they reported. The main outbreak of SARS, occurred earlier that year and sporadic cases were still happening. Doctors initially diagnosed that as his cause of death. But tests failed to find the SARS virus.


Further tests of the man's lung tissue yielded fragments of a flu virus, the Chinese scientists reported. Genetic sequencing revealed it to be a mixed virus, with genes similar to two distinct types of bird flu seen in northern and southern China.


"It suggests to me that H5N1 infections were occurring in China probably not recognized or not detected maybe in the background of the SARS epidemic," Treanor said. "I don't know how you could interpret it any other way."


Bird flu crossed the species barrier to infect humans on at least three occasions in recent years: in Hong Kong in 1997 (18 cases with six deaths), in Hong Kong in 2003 (two cases with one death) and in a series of cases that began in December 2003 and was recognized in January 2004, WHO reports. In the last series, 225 cases and 128 deaths have been reported from 10 countries.


The two 2003 Hong Kong cases were strongly suspected to have resulted from a family's travel to mainland China, but this was never proved and there were no known poultry outbreaks of the disease at the time being reported in China.


The newly disclosed case in Beijing means "there may be more jumps from birds to people than we realized," said Baden of the medical journal.




On the Net:


World Health Organization:




New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org









WHO Seeks Information From China on Possible 2003 Bird Flu Case

By Luis Ramirez


22 June 2006




The World Health Organization has asked China for more information following a report that a man may have died of bird flu two years earlier than Chinese officials reported the presence of the flu virus in their country.


News of the case appeared in a letter published this week in an American medical magazine, the New England Journal of Medicine. In the letter, a group of Chinese scientists said a 24-year-old Chinese man who died of pneumonia-like symptoms in 2003 might have died as a result of the H5N1 bird flu virus.


In their letter, the Chinese scientists say the tests of the dead man's tissue turned up positive for the bird flu virus.


At the time of his death, the man was counted among the victims of the then-prevalent SARS epidemic. For international health experts, the report this week raises the question of whether H5N1 was present in China before last year, when Chinese officials reported it for the first time.


Roy Wadia is a spokesman for the Beijing office of the World Health Organization, which has asked Chinese health authorities for more information.


"We would like to know when these tests were done, when this was found out," he said. " And if it indeed was found out in 2003, why wasn't it shared?"


The Chinese scientists who wrote the letter to the New England Journal of Medicine have since asked the publication to withdraw it, but it is not clear why. Chinese Foreign Ministry officials had no immediate comment Thursday on the letter.


Scientists say details of the 2003 case are important because they might help reveal how much the virus has changed genetically since then. They say this information could be useful in the formulation of a vaccine.


The World Health Organization says H5N1 has killed at least 130 people since reappearing in Asia in 2003. Most of the victims have contracted the disease from infected animals. However, health experts fear the virus may mutate into a form that can pass easily from human to human, possibly creating a worldwide pandemic.


The virus has already been reported, among birds and in some cases humans, in 10 nations in Asia, Europe, and Africa.






Link to comment

This report further defines as "slight" mutation




WHO: Bird Flu Virus Mutated in Indonesia






AP Medical Writer


June 23, 2006, 6:32 AM EDT




JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A World Health Organization investigation showed that the H5N1 virus mutated in an Indonesian family cluster on Sumatra island, but bird flu experts insisted Friday it did not increase the possibility of a human pandemic.


The virus that infected eight members of a family last month -- killing seven of them -- appears to have slightly mutated in a 10-year-old boy, who is suspected of having passed the virus to his father, the WHO investigative report said.


It is the first evidence of possible human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus, said Tim Uyeki, an epidemiologist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He added that the virus died with the father and did not pass outside the family.


"It stopped. It was dead end at that point," he said, stressing that viruses are always slightly changing and there was no reason to raise alarm bells.


The findings appeared in a report obtained by The Associated Press that was distributed at a closed meeting in Jakarta attended by some of the world's top bird flu experts.


The three-day session that wraps up Friday was convened after Indonesia asked for international help checking the virus, which has killed 39 people there.


Experts fear the virus will mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, potentially starting a pandemic. So far, it remains hard for people to catch, and most human cases have been traced to contact with infected birds.


WHO concluded in its report that human-to-human transmission likely occurred among seven relatives infected with the H5N1 virus in a remote farming village on Sumatra island. An eighth family member who was buried before specimens could be taken is believed to have been infected by poultry, a WHO report said.


Despite the virus' slight mutation in the father and son, Uyeki insisted that an analysis suggested there was "nothing remarkable about these viruses."


Bird flu has killed at least 130 people worldwide since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003.





Link to comment
Guest Guest

Another surprise [not] the virus mutated in 8 different places This leaked out of a confrence on the BF. We are lucky that some of the doctors attending the confrence have some scruples. WHO has lost credability in my book. I fear that they are so concerned with the economics and politics of the situation that they are sacrificing honesty.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.