Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cannot rule out person to person spread, says WHO

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu could be passing from person to person in Turkey even though health experts have no evidence that the virus is spreading that way, a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) expert said on Thursday.

Guenael Rodier, the WHO's head of communicable diseases and response, said experts cannot rule out person-to-person infection because "we haven't documented each and every case properly".

"When you have a mother and a child, and both get sick, you don't know if they both were exposed to the chickens or if the mother got sick because she was caring for the child," Rodier said. "It leaves room for some question marks. We have not documented every transmission story."

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