World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Further Sporadic Human Cases Of Bird Flu - UN

Further Sporadic Human Cases Of Bird Flu Can Be Expected In Asian Countries – UN

With the number of human bird flu cases in <"">Viet Nam since mid-December now reaching 10, nine of them fatal, the United Nations health agency has warned that further sporadic cases and occasional family clusters can be expected considering the current spread of outbreaks in poultry in some Asian countries.

Experience to date indicates that possible human-to-human transmission has occurred mainly during prolonged close contact of a family member with a patient who was critically ill with the H5 virus subtype, which earlier last year infected 45 people, 32 of them fatally, and resulted in the deaths or culling of more than 100 million birds, the World Health Organization (<"">WHO) said.

WHO has warned several times over the past year of the potential evolution of the virus into a human pandemic which, in a worst-case scenario, could have devastatingly deadly consequences.

The agency said Viet Nam’s Health Ministry yesterday reported the two latest laboratory confirmed cases, both fatal, in the southern part of the country.

A family cluster of three brothers, two of whom died, in northern Viet Nam has been the focus of intense investigation. The source of infection of the two who died remains undetermined, while the third, who provided bedside care for his brothers, was hospitalized with respiratory symptoms and has now fully recovered.

Surveillance for further cases among health care workers, other family members and residents in both communities where the brothers lived has so far found no evidence of additional cases. If limited human-to-human transmission has occurred, all evidence at this stage suggests that the chain of transmission ended after a single person was infected, WHO said.

The agency has already warned that cooler winter temperatures and activities linked to the approach of the Lunar New Year in February may increase the risk of further human cases.

Last year it voiced concern several times that continuing transmission of the virus to humans might give avian and influenza viruses an opportunity to exchange genes, potentially giving rise to a new human virus with pandemic potential. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-20 is estimated to have killed 20 million people worldwide.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news