WHO confirms avian flu cluster in Indonesia
Five cases of H5N1 avian influenza in an Indonesian family in Sumatra
have been confirmed by World Health Organisation officials.
The cases were confirmed by a WHO-accredited laboratory in Hong
Two extra medical epodemiologists have today joined the WHO
team investigating the case.
The North Sumatra case cluster, which
sparked concern about the possibility of a mutated strain of the virus
transmittable between humans, was first reported by several days ago. In today's
reports, officials said the situation was still unclear and investigation was
WHO officials said four of the five infected family
members in North Sumatra have died, while the fifth person was
WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng in Geneva said it was "too
early to draw any conclusions" about whether the virus has acquired the ability
to spread among humans. "I have not heard any suggestion that the virus is any
different," she said.
However, Hong Kong virologist Guan Yi said it
was unusual that there had been such a time lag between the onset of symptoms in
Unofficially, Indonesia's case total sits at 39, with a
death toll of 30.
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