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WHO: Bird flu likely spread among family members in Indonesian cluster
Thu Jun 22 2006 02:29:02 ET

The World Health Organization concluded that human-to-human transmission likely occurred among seven relatives who died from bird flu on Indonesia's Sumatra Island, while an animal health expert said the disease was more widespread in poultry than previously thought.

In a report obtained by The Associated Press, WHO experts said the cluster's first case was probably infected by sick birds and spread the disease to six family members living in a remote village. One of those cases, a boy, then likely infected his father, it said.

The U.N. agency stressed the virus had not mutated in any major way and that no cases were detected beyond members of the family, who died last month.

"Six confirmed H5N1 cases likely acquired (the) H5N1 virus through human-to-human transmission from the index case ... during close prolonged contact with her during the late stages of her illness," the report said.


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