South Asia

Published: Tuesday 15 January 2008

First human bird flu case in Pakistan: WHO has confirmed that the limited human-to-human bird flu transmission has occurred in Pakistan. The country reported eight cases of human bird flu in December including two people who succumbed to the disease.

An initial analysis by WHO says that the outbreak might be a small chain of human-to-human, non-sustained transmission. WHO assistant director-general for health security and environment has said that no new suspect human bird flu cases has emerged in Pakistan since December 6, signalling there had been no further spread. Sixty three people who were in contact with the patients tested negative, he said.

The human bird flu case was first reported in North-West Frontier province in late November when a man involved in the culling of suspected sick birds outside the city of Peshawar contracted bird flu, followed by one of his brothers who later died from the disease. According to the Pakistani National Institute of Health, there have been multiple bird-flu outbreaks among Pakistan's poultry population since 2006 but there had never been a human case until last month. This is the first human bird flu case in the country.

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