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Pakistan Now Claims 'No H5N1
Human Transmission' (Right)
Nation.com - Pakistan

The Health Ministry on Saturday [15 Dec 2007] confirmed that a man who died after culling infected birds at a poultry farm was the country's 1st fatality from the bird flu virus. One of the man's brothers who took part in the cull also died, but he was not tested for the virus, a Ministry spokesman told AFP. It was not immediately known why the 2nd man was not tested (Previously, it was reported that he had been buried before samples could be taken. - Mod.CP).
The spokesman ruled out any case of human-to-human transmission, a development that could have signaled a mutation of the virus with the possibility to kill millions around the world. 6 people were confirmed to have been infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, all of them in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP), the Ministry said in a statement. "5 of them have fully recovered. One of the confirmed cases died in hospital, while his brother, who could not be tested, has also died," it said.
Ministry spokesman Mazhar Nisar said the confirmed victim, the brother who died, and 2 other brothers who were infected but survived all worked on the same cull of infected birds. "We are not certain how (the brother) died because we could not conduct his testing," Nisar said.
Hospital officials in Peshawar [NWFP] told AFP that the confirmed victim died late last month [November 2007], a few days before his brother, who was admitted with similar symptoms but was not tested. Nisar said there had been no human transmission in this case.
ProMed Mail
This report provides a new twist to the story, contradicting some previously reported statements from the Ministry. In this version, the number of confirmed cases is 6, 5 of whom have recovered. Two of 4 brothers tested H5N1-positive, while a 3rd died but was not tested. Three of these 4 brothers, including the 2 fatal cases and one of the 2 surviving brothers, were employed in poultry culling. (Elsewhere it is recorded that the 4th was a visitor now returned to the USA and found to be H5N1-negative there). If this version of the story is correct, it is likely that the brothers were infected from the same source in the course of their employment and that human-to-human transmission has not occurred. Further clarification and verification of the diagnoses by an independent source are awaited. - Mod.CP Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics Univ of West Indies
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