World's First Human-To-Human
Bird Flu Transmission

ABC Asia Pacific TV -Radio Australia
The world's first human-to-human transmission of a lethal strain of bird flu is suspected to have taken place in Thailand
The alarm has been raised by the World Health Organisation, as Peter Lloyd reports from Bangkok.
Suspicion of human to human transmission centers on the case of a 26 year old woman who traveled from Bangkok to northern Thailand to visit her daughter in hospital and then attend her funeral. A week after returning to the capital the woman also died from what is believed to have been bird flu. It was only then that her child's fatal illness fell under suspicion of being the deadly strain of avian influenza.
The WHO Thai representative Kumara Rai says there is no evidence of the mother having had any contact with fowl, instead suspecting she caught the deadly virus from close physical contact with her daughter. Her sister is now in hospital with severe pneumonia. Lab test results are expected as soon as Monday but the Geneva headquarters of W.H.O has been asked to send experts to Thailand to help in the investigation.
Thailand Full Alert - Bird Flu Transmitted Among Humans
BANGKOK (Xinhuanet) -- The Thai government has taken human safety as priority in face of possible bird flu transmission among people, the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Saturday.
The Agriculture Ministry and the Public Health Ministry have been ordered to closely work together to reduce the risk of people being infected with the fowl epidemic, while eagerly waiting for the result of lab test as whether the virus had been transmitted between human, the prime minister said in his weekly radio-broadcast speech.
Three deaths with symptoms of pneumonia, including a pair of mother and daughter and a boy, have been listed as suspected casesof bird flu infection and the result will come out in three days.
The 11-year-old girls, who died on September 12, had record of contacting with birds when she was alive, and her 26-year-old mother became sick and showed symptoms of infection after visitingher at the hospital in northeastern province of Kamphaengphet.
The mother passed away on Monday, which rang alarm among experts and doctors who were afraid of possible transmission of the avian influenza virus among people.
The deceased girl's aunt, who has never touched infected poultry,has also reported flu-like symptoms.
"Neither the mother of the dead girl or her aunt have risk behaviors which can lead to infection except they were close to a patient with bird flu-like symptoms," Dr Charal Trinvudhipong, acting health permanent secretary, was quoted by Saturday's Bangkok Post as saying.
"Health authorities are awaiting the outcome of lab test results,especially from the aunt to show if bird flu has mutated and changed into a form that can pass between humans," he said.
Since the avian influenza rebounded in the kingdom in July, only an 18-year-old man has died last month in central Thailand, pushing the kingdom's bird flu casualty to 9.
In the first wave of bird flu outbreak at the beginning of thisyear, eight people in Thailand were killed by the epidemic.
Another 19 people have died in Vietnam, bringing the Asian death toll to 28.
Besides, there have been 128 patients in Thailand under observation for possible infection of the disease since early July.
Now, 114 of the cases have been cleared and the rest are still waiting for the test result.



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