Japanese poultry workers probably infected with mild bird flu
Japan's Health Ministry reported that 93 poultry
farm workers may have been exposed to a mild form of the bird flu virus last
The ministry had said in a preliminary report in January that 77 people were
exposed to and possibly infected with the H5N2 strain, which was not previously
known to infect humans. It is milder than the virulent H5N1 strain that has
recently spread from Asia to Europe.
Most of the 77 were poultry farm
workers in Ibaraki and Saitama prefectures (states) near Tokyo.
conducting tests on more workers, the ministry found that 16 more in Ibaraki may
have also caught H5N2, according to ministry official Hiroshi
Preliminary tests on the workers were positive for H5N2
antibodies, indicating they were previously exposed, Takimoto
While exposure carries with it the possibility of infection and
illness, he said none had tested positive for the virus itself or had developed
The ministry had been testing chicken farm workers
since a bird flu outbreak in Ibaraki in June last year.
million birds have been destroyed in Ibaraki following the H5N2
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