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Global update on avian influenza

25 November 2005

Despite growing concerns for the next pandemic, the world currently remains in phase 3 of the pandemic alert period according to WHO criteria. This implies that although human infections with avian influenza A (H5N1) are continuing to occur there is as yet no evidence for efficient or sustainable spread in the human population.

China recently reported its first 2 cases of human infection with avian influenza H5N1 following a resurgence of several outbreaks in poultry of which there have been 11 since mid-October. The human cases include a 9 year old boy from Hunan province who recovered fully and a 24 year old poultry worker from Anhui who died on November 10th. A further 2 possible cases in China are suspected but have not been laboratory confirmed. Indonesia has also recently reported 2 new cases in humans. Infection in humans remains associated with a history of close contact with infected poultry.

As of November 17th 2005, a total of 130 laboratory confirmed avian influenza A (H5N1) have been reported with 67 deaths.

No additional human cases have been reported outside of the 5 affected countries namely Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and China.

Source: World Health Organisation

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