Monday, June 26, 2006

Four died in Azerbaijan after catching bird flu from wild birds

Four people have died after catching avian flu from infected swans, in the first confirmed cases of the disease being passed from wild birds, scientists have revealed.

The victims, from a village in Azerbaijan, are believed to have caught the lethal H5N1 virus earlier this year when they plucked the feathers from dead birds to sell for pillows. Three other people were infected by the swans but survived.

Andreas Gilsdorf, an epidemiologist at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, who led the team that made the discovery, said: “As far as we know this is the first transmission from a wild bird, but it was a very intensive contact. We know that the virus is carried by swans and we know that you can catch the virus if you have close contact, so it doesn’t change anything, it’s just the first time it has been reported.”

Avian influenza story link

Posted by john T. on 06/26 at 08:14 AM
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