Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bird flu could infect people through stomach

Virologist Menno de Jong, the head of a team that observed 18 human bird flu cases in Vietnam, said that Bird flu may be capable of invading people through the stomach, not just the respiratory system, and diarrhea is sometimes the first symptom

Particles of the lethal H5N1 bird flu virus contained in the meat and blood of infected poultry may have been ingested by some patients, possibly causing their infection, said De Jong, who is head of the virology department at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City.

During a phone interview yesterday De Jong said “That could imply that the gastrointestinal tract is also a route of transmission or a route of first infection, and there are experiments in animals that suggest this”.

De Jong also said If live bird flu virus particles are carried outside the lungs and surrounding tissues to other parts of the body, some antiviral treatments may not be as effective as once thought.

Sources used in this Avian influenza story:

Bloomberg news.

Posted by john T. on 05/10 at 03:17 AM
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