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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid