Turkey cases show bird flu targets children and youth
A recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
about bird flu cases in Turkey last winter indicates that children and youths
may be particularly susceptible to the virus.
reported on 10 of the 12 confirmed
cases in Turkey, where the virus struck only children aged younger
than 16, with a median infection age of 14 years.
The WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Record of 27 October
some extent, this reflects the same age distribution observed globally, where
50.5% of cases occurred among people aged <20 years, and it suggests that
age-related factors may influence susceptibility to the disease," the report
Of the case-patients described in the report, all of those who died were
teenagers, while all the survivors were younger children, aged three to nine
years. "This reflects closely the global situation where the highest
case-fatality rate (73%) has been observed in the 10-19-year age group," the
In spite of the fact that the 10 cases in the report involved family
clusters, investigators concluded that person-to-person transmission in the
families was unlikely. This was because of the timing of the infections, which
indicated that the patients feel ill because of individual contact with a common
Turkey was the first country outside Southeast Asia to report human cases.
A total of 21 human H5N1 cases had been reported in January on the basis of
tests in a Turkish laboratory, but only 12 of these were confirmed by the WHO
because the remainder were not confirmed in reference labs recognised by the
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.