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CHINA faces a "grim" situation in preventing and controlling human cases of bird flu, the health minister said, after announcing four human infections in the last two weeks and three deaths.
Health Minister Chen Zhu called for hospitals to spare more resources in diagnosing and treating bird flu and more cooperation between agriculture authorities and his ministry, Xinhua news agency said.
However, another report indicates two other family members were hospitalized in Shanxi, signaling transmission of H5N1 from the daughter to the Shanxi relatives (see updated map).
Thus, although there is only one confirmed case and the WHO update indicates all contacts are “healthy”, media reports describe three additional family members infected in the H2H2H transmission chain.
H5N1 infections of humans from poultry remain rare, so the likelihood that the mother and daughter were infected by poultry through independent events 5-10 days apart is remote. The likelihood that the mother infected her daughter however, is much higher, which has been supported by the large number of familial clusters linked to H5N1 which have 5-10 day gaps in disease onset dates.
These activities by official agencies have greatly reduced the number of confirmed clusters, which have been large and obvious since 2004.
The scientific analysis of the cluster in Hunan strongly suggests the index case infected her daughter, who was H5N1 confirmed. The status of two additional family members, who were reported to be hospitalized in Shanxi, remains unclear, but the H2H transmission in Hunan is not.
&EN]Indonesia: Avian Flu Kills 115
Jakarta, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Indonesia confirmed another two dead people by the avian flu Wednesday, and the number of dead people by the lethal H5N1 virus went up to 115, according to a note issued by the Public Health Ministry.
The note said the victims were a 6-year-old girl and a young lady of 29 years old.
Indonesia is the main country affected by the H5N1 virus and stopped updating the dead people by the avian flu after they occurred.
In the beginning of 2008, Indonesia was the first country going over the 100 dead people by the avian flu, endemic in the island of Java, Sumatra, Bali and the Celebes.
Epidemiological tests show that the patient previously had exposure to live poultry markets," the ministry said in a brief statement. But nobody with whom he had been in close contact had shown signs of illness, it added.