» 01/02/2006, 00.00
Bird flu feared more virulent in Eastern Europe than in Asia
There have been several outbreaks of infection in Russia, Roumania and Turkey. Four Turkish siblings are not infected with the disease. There is a new suspect death in Indonesia.
Ankara (AsiaNews/Agencies) There are fears that bird flu is now more virulent in Eastern Europe than in Asia, given the infectious outbreaks of recent weeks. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, Russia reported 62 outbreaks as of 31 December (11 more than a week earlier), Romania counted 36 outbreaks, (10 more than on December 23), while no new outbreaks have been reported in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia or China in the last week.
In 2005, people dying from the disease doubled in comparison to 2004 and the infection spread throughout Asia as far as Eastern Europe, perhaps carried by migrating birds. This is the peak time for bird migration in Eastern Europe.
Last week, the Turkish health authorities announced the presence of a strain of the H5 virus among poultry and declared quarantine areas in an eastern town, near the Armenian border. More than 500 chickens were killed in Aralik. In Dogubayazit city, 60km south of Aralik, four Turkish children were admitted to hospital with high fever, coughing and blood in their throats, after eating a chicken. One of them died on Sunday night. Testing excluded the H5N1 virus.
Testing has also excluded bird flu in the case of a 48-year-old man who died in western Java, Indonesia, last week. However, a 39-year-old man died in Jakarta yesterday, he had symptoms of the disease and had had contact with poultry. Testing is under way.
WHO: China may have unidentified bird flu outbreaks
This view was expressed after the death of a 41-year-old woman was declared in an area free of bird flu outbreaks. There is a new suspect death in Indonesia. Meanwhile the situation has improved n Vietnam.
WHO urges China to share H5N1 virus samples
The Chinese government has agreed to do so, however samples have yet to reach the World Health Organisation.
Hanoi announces three new bird flu cases
Pandemic inevitable, say experts from around the world meeting in Canada
Counter-measures are being discussed; a pandemic would cost Asia nearly 300 billion dollars. Another contaminated breeding farm in China and the fourth death in Indonesia. India wants to start producing Tamiflu, even without the green light from Roche.
WHO: Greater transparency about bird flu
The director of the World Health Organisation's Pacific section appeals to Asian governments for greater transparency and vigilance to prevent further contagion.
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