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Bird Flu
bird flu symptoms

Bird Flu

March 2007

The Egyptian Health Ministry Wednesday said a 10-year-old girl was tested positive to the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, bringing the number of bird flu human cases to 25.

The H5N1 strain, the most aggressive form of bird flu, has killed more than 160 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and has been responsible for the destruction of millions of birds.

For in depth information on the bird flu spread visit the WHO Avian Influenza Web site. US government information on bird flu is available from The Centers for Disease Control and Protection website

Bird Flu in Humans

If these H5N1 bird flu viruses gain the ability for efficient and sustained transmission between humans, there is little pre-existing natural immunity to H5N1 infection in the human population, and an influenza pandemic could result, with high rates of illness and death.


Bird Flu Research

Recent research findings give further cause for concern in that currently circulating strains of bird flu viruses are becoming more capable of causing disease (pathogenic) for mammals than earlier H5N1 viruses and are becoming more widespread in birds in the region. One study found that ducks infected with H5N1 bird flu are now shedding more virus for longer periods of time without showing any symptoms of bird flu illness.


Additionally, other findings have documented H5 infection among pigs in China and H5 infection in felines (experimental infection in housecats in the Netherlands and isolation of H5N1 bird flu viruses from tigers and leopards in Thailand ), suggesting that feline cats could host or transmit the infection. These finding are particularly worrisome in light of the fact that re-assortment of avian influenza genomes is most likely to occur when these viruses demonstrate a capacity to infect multiple species.



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