According to MSNBC, The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Thursday a single case of human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 bird flu virus in a family in Pakistan but said there was no apparent risk of it spreading wide. The outbreak followed a culling of infected chickens in the Peshawar region, in which a veterinary doctor was involved. Subsequently he and three of his brothers developed proven or suspected pneumonia. The brothers cared for one another and had close personal contact both at home and in the hospital, a WHO spokesman in Geneva said. One of them, who was not involved in the culling, died on November 23.His was the human-to-human transmission case confirmed by the WHO. The others all recovered.
This is scary stuff. I don’t know if anyone caught that movie on cable a year or so ago about a world wide pandemic, but the whole thing seriously scares me. Thus, I am germaphobic.
Another article stated, “Bird flu virus may become endemic in parts of Europe, with ducks and geese more of a vector for spreading it than previously thought, the U.N. said on Thursday. Avian influenza predominantly hits birds, but contact with sick birds is the most common way for humans to contract H5N1, which has been fatal in 204 of 332 cases since 2003. A few cases of human-to-human transmission have been recorded.
Health experts fear the deadly H5N1 strain could mutate and spark a pandemic. If the virus develops a way of transmitting among humans, the results could be devastating. After Asia and Africa, Europe may become the third continent where the H5N1 strain could become endemic, the FAO said. "Europe should prepare for further waves of avian influenza outbreaks, most probably in an east-west direction, if the virus succeeds in persisting throughout the year in domestic waterfowl," Domenech said.”
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