dtd: 21st Aug 06
While most of the alarm that was evident last over 'bird flu' has been by and large absent this year, it takes a while to figure that the dreaded sickness has been sneaking ever so slowly around.
What was seen last year was mass hysteria and an unnatural and hasty response to the death of chickens and humans alike. While chickens were mercilessly killed, humans were put in quarantine.
It seemed to have worked then largely helped by the weather. Wherein summer heat made the spread of the virus slower as most influenza viruses dont survive or thrive in the heat.
But now with the return of cold and humid weather the virus will have ample fodder to propagate and spread around.
As reports out of Indonesia indicate a woman died of bird flu in a village where authorities are now investigating the possibility of more than one human cases of the H5N1 virus.
The woman identified as Euis Lina, 35, died of the disease on Thursday at a hospital. The confirmation of the presence of H5N1 virus was confirmed by a laboratory test.
Previously her 9 year old daughter had also died leading to fears that it was bird flu too. Tests have still to be performed to assertain this.
There were fresh cases with 60 yr old man, 16 yr old boy and 4 yr old girl being hospitalised with bird flu symptoms.
Human cases involving family members or members of the same community/village raises fears of a human to human transmission. Although not yet confirmed except for the case wherein 7 members of a family in Indonesia died of the disease in May, there have not been confirmed cases of human to human transmission.