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WHO: No Evidence Bird Flu Spreading Between Humans


The World Health Organization says it has found no evidence that bird flu is spreading between humans in a remote part of Indonesia where two people died of the disease.

The U.N. health agency made the announcement Tuesday, following an investigation into a suspected bird flu cluster in the Cikelet region of West Java.

Three cases have been confirmed in the region, two of which were fatal. At least three more people are suspected to have died of bird flu. The deaths raised concerns the H5N1 virus may have changed into a form easily passed between humans.

The WHO says although some of the undiagnosed deaths were relatives of people who had bird flu, the investigation found no evidence of human-to-human transmission or that the virus is spreading more easily from birds to humans.

The agency says bird flu appeared in Cikelet in late June, just after chickens from an outside market were mixed with local flocks. The WHO says villagers likely contracted the virus while handling carcasses or preparing sick or dead birds for consumption.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.