News / Asia

WHO: No Evidence of Human to Human Bird Flu Infection

Employees dispose uninfected dead birds at a treatment plant as part of preventive measures against the H7N9 bird flu in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, April 16, 2013.
Employees dispose uninfected dead birds at a treatment plant as part of preventive measures against the H7N9 bird flu in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, April 16, 2013.
William Ide
The World Health Organization representative in China says there is no sign that a new strain of bird flu is spreading easily from person to person. But authorities say much is still to be learned about the disease that has infected 87 and left 17 dead.

Chinese health officials say more than half of those who have been sickened by the H7N9 strain remember coming into direct contact with birds before getting sick. For the other infected victims, how they got the disease is less clear.
 
Michael O’Leary, the head of WHO’s office in China, says a group of 15 experts are on a weeklong mission to Beijing and Shanghai to learn more about the disease and how it is spreading.  They will also be looking into several cases of the disease where it appeared to be passed from human to human without direct contact with birds.
 
“It's not unexpected that if a person is sick and maybe is receiving very close care from a very close contact that once in a while it will pass to the other person, but this is not the same as sustained human to human transmission,” O'Leary said.
 
O’Leary says three clusters of cases have been officially reported in China where such transmission appears to have happened. One is of a father and son who died. In the second case, a daughter caring for her sickened parent became infected as well. The third case involved a husband and wife, both of whom were sick with pneumonia, but only the wife has been confirmed as having H7N9.
 
Of the 87 cases that were reported as of Friday afternoon, 64 are being treated, six have been released from the hospital and 17 have died. The majority of the deaths have occurred in the eastern city Shanghai, but cases have been reported as far north as Beijing.
 
“That's a fairly high mortality rate particularly because several others are in critical condition," explained O'Leary. "But what we don't know is the size of the iceberg under this tip.” 

A girl, who was previously infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus, waves as she is being transferred to a public ward from the ICU at Ditan hospital in Beijing, Apr. 15, 2013.A girl, who was previously infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus, waves as she is being transferred to a public ward from the ICU at Ditan hospital in Beijing, Apr. 15, 2013.
x
A girl, who was previously infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus, waves as she is being transferred to a public ward from the ICU at Ditan hospital in Beijing, Apr. 15, 2013.
A girl, who was previously infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus, waves as she is being transferred to a public ward from the ICU at Ditan hospital in Beijing, Apr. 15, 2013.
The source of the virus and how it infects humans is still not known. Tens of thousands of birds have been tested, but only a small number have been found to be carrying the virus.
 
China’s health and agriculture officials have closed live poultry markets in a bid to keep the virus from spreading and began culling birds in some cases. Officials say the poultry industry has already suffered nearly $3 billion in loses as a result.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: confucius from: China Mainland
April 19, 2013 11:23 PM
China is a country that is the origin of all new serious pandemic diseases.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid