The death toll: As of Feb. 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) had confirmed 88 deaths from H5N1 out of 165 cases of human infection. Vietnam has the most fatalities, with 42, followed by Indonesia (16), Thailand (14), China (seven), Cambodia (four), Turkey (four) and Iraq (one). This list does not include an Iraqi Kurd whose death was reported by local authorities on Monday, two Indonesian women who died Thursday and Friday respectively and a woman’s death reported by China on Friday. Symptoms: Bird flu in humans causes symptoms that are like human flu, such as fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches, conjunctivitis, pneumonia and other severe respiratory diseases. Is chicken safe? Avian flu is not a food-borne virus, so the risk from eating properly cooked poultry is considered negligible. The risk: At present, H5N1 is not easily transmitted from bird to human. In other words, a person would have to pick up a lot of virus in order to be infected. Nor is it easily passed from human to human: there have been only three suspected cases in which this is believed to have happened. The big worry is that H5N1 could pick up genes from conventional human… Read full this story
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