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Avian Flu News Tracker
posted by admin on 12/06/06
Saturday, June 10
2:50 p.m.: Indonesia's health minister, Aburizal Bakrie, said that human-to-human transmission of bird flu probably occurred in the country's seven-person family cluster, the Jakarta Post reported. He made the remarks after meeting with the WHO, Unicef, FAO and other groups. But health officials from other organizations, contacted separately, were reluctant to make such a strong statement and said more tests are necessary to determine if human transmission occurred.
2:15 p.m.: The U.S. Agency for International Development pledged $5 million to the Wildlife Conservation Society's Global Aviation Influenza Network for Surveillance. GAINS, as the network is known, runs through countries on key migratory routes and is designed to better monitor migratory birds for bird flu. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention donated $1 million to GAINS.
Friday, June 9
3:35 p.m.: The only survivor of the family cluster of bird-flu victims in Indonesia has fully recovered from the disease, doctors said, and soon may be released from the hospital, the Jakarta Post reported. The man said he's not ready to go home yet as he's still traumatized by the death of seven of his relatives from bird flu, according to a hospital official.
3:20 p.m.: Scientists are still working out the kinks as they begin testing migratory birds in Alaska for H5N1. At a landfill, scientists tried to fire a 50-by-60-foot net over seagulls, but the birds weren't initially enticed by the whale-blubber bait and waited until later in the night to scope it out. In a coastal marsh, scientists tried to round up shorebirds with long nets, but the birds flew up over the mesh after the wind kicked it up.
3:10 p.m.: The EU reported that H5 has been detected in a flock of geese in Hungary. Further tests are being conducted by a WHO-backed lab in the U.K. to determine if it is H5N1.
9:30 a.m.: A seven-year-old Indonesian girl who tested positive locally for H5N1 did not have bird flu, WHO lab tests show. The girl, from Pamulang on the outskirts of Jakarta, died June 1 after coming into contact with sick poultry. Her 10-year-old brother died three days earlier with similar flu-like symptoms, but no samples were taken. "This is the first time local tests came back positive and Hong Kong laboratory tests negative," a WHO spokesman said, adding that further tests would be conducted for confirmation.
9:15 a.m.: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it is safe for humans to swim in lakes and other bodies of water near where birds infected with H5N1 have been found and that the risk of catching bird flu from such bodies of water is close to zero. It is difficult for humans to contract bird flu and they must be exposed to large quantities of it, the ECDC said. If the virus enters a large body of water, it becomes diluted, thus diminishing the risk. However, humans should still be cautious when swimming in untreated water, the ECDC said, as there is a possibility of contracting other animals diseases such as campylobacter or salmonella.
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