- HONG KONG (AP) - Doctors have found antibodies
to the bird flu virus in health workers, officials said Monday, renewing
fears that the virus that killed six people in Hong Kong could be spread
by human contact.
- The virus was first detected in humans
last year, and doctors have been trying since then to determine how it
is transmitted - particularly, if it could be spread by contact with infected
people as well as infected poultry.
- Preliminary findings of blood tests show
fewer than 10 health workers have developed antibodies to the virus, government
spokeswoman Pauline Ling said.
- Some of them ``may have been in contact
with bird flu patients,'' she said.
- The presence of antibodies means a person
has been exposed to the virus and developed resistance, with or without
- In December, antibodies were found in
the blood samples of a laboratory worker and a health worker who cared
for the first known human victim. Five poultry workers and two others who
had been in contact with the boy also tested positive for the antibodies.
- The virus killed six people and infected
12 others. No new cases have been found since the government banned live
chicken imports and killed all of Hong Kong's 1.4 million chickens in December.
Imports of chicken resumed Feb. 8.