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China says no bird flu outbreak after father-son cases

not yet....
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 10, 2007
The latest human cases of bird flu in China appeared to be isolated events with no other people affected and no reported outbreak of the disease among poultry, the government said Monday.

A 24-year-old man in eastern Jiangsu province died from bird flu on December 2, and authorities announced on Friday last week that his father also had the H5N1 strain of the virus, raising fears of human-to-human transmission.

Health ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an told reporters on Monday the father, surnamed Lu, 52, was recovering from the virus and that there was no evidence the man had contracted the disease from his son.

"There is no biological basis for (the theory of) human-to-human transmission," Mao said.

The H5N1 strain has passed from human to human only in very rare cases and scientists fear that such a transmission could become more efficient and widespread through mutation, causing a global pandemic.

Mao said the strain that killed the son had not mutated from H5N1.

He said 34 people who had close contact with the father and the son were being kept under observation but none of them had shown symptoms of the disease.

There is no report of bird flu outbreaks among poultry in Jiangsu province either, he added.

This followed a familiar pattern in China where humans have contracted the disease in an area where there have been no reported outbreaks among poultry.

The father-son case has brought reports of human cases of bird flu in China to 27 since 2003. Seventeen of those people have died.

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Most Ancient Case Of Tuberculosis Found In 500,000-Year-Old Human; Points To Modern Health Issues
Austin TX (SPX) Dec 10, 2007
Although most scientists believe tuberculosis emerged only several thousand years ago, new research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals the most ancient evidence of the disease has been found in a 500,000-year-old human fossil from Turkey. The discovery of the new specimen of the human species, Homo erectus, suggests support for the theory that dark-skinned people who migrate northward from low, tropical latitudes produce less vitamin D, which can adversely affect the immune system as well as the skeleton.

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