Two people in China have died from H5N1 in less than a month. This is according to an article run in the New York Times today. China is a country known for agricultural practices that make perfect “breeding grounds” for bird flu and transmission to humans, namely the close proximity and mixing of birds and pigs. Still, these deaths come as a surprise.
The latest victim’s case was worrisome as the patient didn’t report any contact with poultry before falling ill. The concern was that H5N1 might have finally begun to be transmitted human-to-human. However they didn’t rule out other reservoirs that could spread the disease to humans and based on close relatives not becoming ill, it seems that no human-to-human transmission occurred.
However, with bird flu’s high mortality rate it’s no wonder people are so concerned. According to the WHO, bird flu has killed 343 out of 582 people who have reported being infected. This is a worrisome disease and 2 fatal cases in less than a month is a cause for alarm.
The original article can be located for further review at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/world/asia/china-reports-2nd-bird-flu-death-in-month.html