- (Reuters) -- The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed
on Thursday the death of an Indonesian teenager from bird flu.
- China said on Wednesday that a farmer from the eastern
province of Anhui had contracted H5N1, the country's first human case in
months. As in other human bird flu cases in China there was no reported
poultry outbreak in the area, raising questions as to how he contracted
the virus. The outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza began
in Asia in 2003 and spread rapidly in early 2006.
- Following are some facts about the H5N1 avian flu virus
and its spread around the globe.
- * Since the virus re-emerged in Asia in 2003, outbreaks
have been confirmed in around 50 countries and territories, according to
data from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
- * Since the beginning of January 2006, more than 30 countries
have reported outbreaks, in most cases involving wild birds such as swans.
- * The virus has killed 158 people since 2003, according
to WHO. Countries with confirmed human deaths are: Azerbaijan, Cambodia,
China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
- * In total, the virus is known to have infected 264 people
since 2003, according to WHO. Many of those who have died are children
and young adults.
- * Vietnam and Indonesia have the highest number of cases,
accounting for 100 of the total deaths.
- * The H5N1 virus is not new to science and was responsible
for an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Scotland in 1959.
Britain confirmed a new case in Scotland on April 6.
- * H5N1 is not the only bird flu virus. There are numerous
strains. For example, an outbreak in 2003 of the H7N7 bird flu virus in
the Netherlands led to the destruction of more than 30 million birds, around
a third of the country's poultry stock. About 2.7 million were destroyed
in Belgium, and around 400,000 in Germany. In the Netherlands, 89 people
were infected with the H7N7 virus, of whom one (a veterinarian) died.
- * The H5N1 virus made the first known jump into humans
in Hong Kong in 1997, infecting 18 people and killing six of them. The
government ordered the immediate culling of the territory's entire poultry
flock, ending the outbreak.
- * Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical
influenza-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches,
to eye inflammations (conjunctivitis), pneumonia, acute respiratory distress,
viral pneumonia, and other severe and life-threatening complications. (Sources:
OIE, WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)