5 Bird Flu Confirmed
In Afghanistan

By Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
In impoverished Afghanistan, the government and the United Nations said the= H5 subtype of the bird flu virus has been found in a small number of poult= ry but it was not yet known if it was the deadly H5N1 strain.
"H5 has been found in five samples in Afghanistan. The N sub-type, we're ex= pecting that to be determined, possibly in a matter of hours," U.N. spokesm= an Adrian Edwards told the news conference.
The FAO said there was a high risk the virus was the deadly H5N1 strain.
Afghanistan had satisfactory facilities to detect outbreaks but containing = them would be a concern, said FAO representative Serge Verniau.
The above comments confirming H5 in Afghanistan strongly suggest that the H= 5 will be H5N1. Afghanistan neighbors in Pakistan and India have already c= onfirmed H5N1 and further spread to adjacent countries was expected.
The death of a cat after eating dead birds also supports H5N1 infections an= d likely increases the number of H5N1 strains causing fatal infections in c= ats.
More information on the H5 isolates in poultry and cats in Afghanistan woul= d be useful.
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