Friday, June 23, 2006
WHO Report: ‘Likely’ Human-To-Human Transmission Of Bird Flu In Indonesia
A World Health Organization report, obtained by the Associated Press, says that a family cluster in Indonesia likely infected one another with highly pathogenic avian influenza, the news service reports.
“Six confirmed H5N1 cases likely acquired [the] H5N1 virus through human-to-human transmission from the index case … during close prolonged contact with her during the late stages of her illness,” the report stated.
A WHO spokesperson, however, would not confirm or deny the contents of the report. “The report went to the government of Indonesia,” Dick Thompson, team leader for WHO’s pandemic and outbreak communications staff, told Meatingplace in an e-mail. “It is up to them to release the report.”
Also, the cluster of fatalities in Indonesia occurred among blood relatives. The WHO report hypothesized that the family had a “common genetic predisposition to infection with H5N1 virus with severe and fatal outcomes,” the Associated Press reported. However, Thompson said that there is “no answer at the moment” to such an assertion.