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Human Bird Flu Sometimes Asymptomatic Warns WHO Spokesperson

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posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 04:52 PM
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Bird flu in humans can be difficult to detect because sometimes people can be infected and not have symptoms, warns Peter Cordingley, a spokesperson for the WHO's Manila-based Western Pacific office. S. Korea confirmed a human infection, but the victim does not have symptoms.



Bird flu is expected to make a resurgence across the world in 2007 and the new cases detected in Asia are just the beginning, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

"We expect a repeat of 2006, when the virus suddenly became very active," spreading to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, (Peter Cordingley, a spokesperson for the WHO's Manila-based Western Pacific office) said.

Bird flu can kill some human victims within days after infection while in other cases a person can be infected and show no symptoms, making it difficult to detect, warned Cordingley.

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S. Korea confirms human bird flu infection

Despite the positive test results, the infected person has shown no symptoms so far, the KCDC added, and they are reluctant to label the person as a "patient." The infected person reportedly took the antiviral drug Tamiflu while engaging in culling at one of the farms, according to KCDC's epidemic control team chief Kwon Joon-wook.

"It seems that the use of Tamiflu in the early stages of the quarantine process helped prevent symptoms from developing," said Kwon at a press briefing at the Health Ministry.

The discovery was the third of its kind in South Korea, following the initial discovery of four non-symptomatic infections in February 2006 and five similar cases in September, among people engaged in the slaughtering of birds exposed to the H5N1 strain of the virus from late 2003 to March 2004.

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South Korean officials said Thursday that the bird flu virus had been transmitted to a human during a recent outbreak among poultry, but the person showed no symptoms of disease.




This admission may signal a shift in WHO policy towards more openness and transparency.

Good idea, imo.




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