Global fight against bird
BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- The World Health
Organisation (WHO) has sent experts to help investigate the cause
of first bird flu cases in people in Pakistan and Myanmar
and find out if the virus was transmitted through human contact, according
to media reports Sunday.
WHO sends experts to investigate fird flu cases in people in Pakistan and Myanmar. (File Photo)
WHO meanwhile praised Pakistan and Myanmar for their
swiftly reporting the cases after the outbreak.
Two brothers Mohammad Ilyas and Tariq, who were
brought to a hospital from Mansehra in North West Frontier Province on suspicion
of carrying H5N1 virus, died of bird flu in Pakistan Thursday.
"The two brothers have been confirmed as bird flu
victims and are the first human sufferers of the disease in our country," Dr
Siddiqur Rahman, Acting Chief Executive of the Khyber Teaching Hospital in
In Myanmar, the first human infection of bird flu was
known to the public on Saturday. A 7-year old girl, Ma Nan Kham Tha, was
found infected with bird flu virus among four suspected of carrying the
virus last month and was kept in quarantine and given a dosage of
timiflu pills since Nov. 27 until her discharge on Dec. 12.
Specimens of the four suspected were first sent to a
lab in Yangon which confirmed on Nov. 26 the girl's infection. The human samples
of the four were also sent to a lab in Bangkok as well as the WHO lab in Tokyo
and those laboratory tests further confirmed the status.
Khalif Bile, WHO representative in Pakistan,
said preliminary tests had been carried out, adding the
organization was encouraging the governments to carry out confirmation
tests and the results should be available by Tuesday.
The H5N1 virus has killed at least 208 people
worldwide since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003. So far,
most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds.