Friday, June 23, 2006

Avian Flu Mutates "Slightly" in Indonesia

Via the Wall Street Journal Avian Flu News Tracker:
A World Health Organization investigation showed that the H5N1 virus mutated slightly in an Indonesian family cluster on Sumatra island, but bird-flu experts insisted Friday it didn't increase the possibility of a human pandemic. The virus that infected eight members of a family last month -- killing seven of them -- appears to have slightly mutated in a 10-year-old boy, who is then suspected of passing the virus to his father, the WHO investigative report said. It is the first evidence of possible human-to-human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus, said Tim Uyeki, an epidemiologist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adding that the virus didn't pass outside the family. "Then it stopped. It was dead end at that point," he said, stressing that viruses are always slightly changing and there was no reason to raise alarm bells.
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