Bird flu human-to-human transmission may have occurred in Indonesia - WHO
XFN-ASIA | May 24, 2y006
Limited human-to-human transmission of bird flu may have occurred in an Indonesian family, which lost seven members to the virus, but there was no evidence it had mutated into an easily transmissible form, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The seven fatal cases in North Sumatra, the largest cluster of infections in Indonesia, have heightened fears that the virus had passed between people. These cases had brought Indonesia's bird flu death toll to 32.
The WHO said although human-to-human transmission could not be ruled out, the search for a possible alternative source of exposure is continuing.
'All confirmed cases in the cluster can be directly linked to close and prolonged exposure to a patient during a phase of severe illness,' the WHO said in a statement posted on its website.
'To date, the investigation has found no evidence of spread within the general community and no evidence that efficient human-to-human transmission has occurred.'
The WHO said genetic sequencing revealed no evidence of significant mutations of the virus.
Nine Indonesians who were infected have survived, according to the official records.
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