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EPIDEMICS
WHO says flu risk assessment unchanged after Hong Kong case

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Nov 18, 2010
The World Health Organisation said Thursday that it was not changing its risk assessment on avian flu, even though Hong Kong reported its first human case of infection in seven years.

"Our risk assessment has not changed," said Gregory Hartl, spokesman of the WHO.

"This would fit the existing pattern of occasional human infection," he added.

Hong Kong earlier Thursday said a 59-year-old woman tested positive for Influenza A (H5), a variant of bird flu. She was listed in a serious condition in a hospital isolation ward.

Hong Kong recorded its last human case of bird flu in 2003, and had the world's first major outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died of a mutation of the virus, which is normally confined to poultry.

Millions of poultry were culled in the 1997 outbreak, which previewed the full-blown panic that struck Hong Kong when the deadly respiratory disease SARS emerged in 2003, killing about 300 people.

Since 2003, some 508 human cases of avian flu have been reported, including 40 in 2010.



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EPIDEMICS
Hong Kong confirms first human case of bird flu since 2003
Hong Kong (AFP) Nov 19, 2010
Hong Kong scrambled Thursday to contain any outbreak of bird flu, seeking to reassure the public after the teeming city recorded its first human case of the illness since 2003. The government has raised its avian influenza alert level to "serious", meaning there is a "high risk" of people contracting the potentially fatal disease, a spokesman for the Department of Health told AFP. But of ... read more







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