Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Scotsman.com News - Top Stories - Bird flu: World is on the edge: "Dr Shigeru Omi, of the World Health Organisation, said at the opening of a three-day United Nations conference on bird flu that the virus has 'tightened its grip' on the region and is capable of springing major surprises.
Cases of human infection have been reported in Vietnam, with others likely in Cambodia and Indonesia, while fears are growing that infected migratory birds in China could spread the virus to India and Pakistan.
'We believe we are at the tipping point. Either we ... reverse this trend or things will get out of hand,' Dr Omi said. 'We must have an all-out war against this virus.'
The flu, which has killed 54 people in Asia, currently appears to spread to people only when they come into close contact with sick poultry.
But medical experts fear that the H5N1 bird flu strain could mutate into a form that easily passes between people and trigger a global pandemic because people have developed no resistance to the strain. "
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