Friday, May 12, 2006

Sick siblings of Djibouti bird flu case tested

GENEVA (Reuters) - A 2-year-old girl in Djibouti, the first confirmed human bird flu case in sub-Saharan Africa, was in stable condition on Friday while three sick siblings had tests for possible infection, the World Health Organisation said.

Djibouti Health Minister Abdallah Abdillahi Miguil said on Thursday in remarks broadcast on state television that the girl had tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

The WHO, a United Nations agency, has accepted as valid the results from the girl’s sample tested by a U.S. laboratory based in Egypt, according to WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng.

“She is the first case of human infection reported in the Horn of Africa,” the WHO said in a statement on Friday. “She is presently in a stable condition with persistent symptoms.”

Cheng told Reuters: “Three of her siblings are undergoing investigation for possible infection. Their samples have been sent to the same laboratory.”

“They have flu-like symptoms,” she added.

The family lives in a poor, rural area of the tiny country near the border with Somalia and kept chickens, Cheng said.

Sources used in this Avian influenza story:

Reuters

Posted by john T. on 05/12 at 07:26 AM
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