Friday, May 19, 2006

Experts urge Indonesia to pin down bird flu source

Experts are frustrated that investigations into a cluster of bird flu infections in Indonesia are moving too slowly, fearing a failure to pin down the source quickly may mean they miss a dangerous mutation of the virus.

Seven members of a family in Kubu Simbelang village in north Sumatra were infected with the H5N1 virus and six of them died between May 4 and 12. But experts and local health authorities have come no closer to finding the culprit.

“This case shows surveillance work should intensify. When there are human infections, you have to find the source. It’s too slow,” said microbiologist Guan Yi, who has studied the H5N1 virus since it made its first known jump to humans in Hong Kong in 1997. “Early detection in animals is essential.”

“If it was a pandemic strain, we’d be finished,” he said.

Source for this avian influenza story:

Reuters

Posted by john T. on 05/19 at 06:39 AM
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