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Bird flu outbreak not contagious among humans: health official

Bird flu outbreak not contagious among humans: health official

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) The Department of Health (DOH) said Monday that an outbreak of the H5N2 strain of avian influenza in Taiwan is highly pathogenic among birds but there is insufficient evidence to prove that the strain is zoonotic. DOH Deputy Minister Lin Tzou-yien said outbreaks like the recent H5N2 infections in two chicken farms in the southern city of Tainan and central county of Changhua have occurred before in the United States, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East and South Africa among turkeys and ducks. He said H5N2 is different from the H5N1 strain, which has infected 590 people globally and killed 349, mostly in Southeast Asia. Based on the global epidemic situation and analyses of reports, Lin said, there is no convincing evidence that suggests the H5N2 avian virus can be transmitted to people via birds. There is no reason to panic and eggs and poultry are edible as long as they are fully cooked, Lin went on. He said nine people at the infected Changhua farm had all tested negative for avian flu. Blood samples from 29 of 38 people at the Tainan farm had been collected, Lin added, saying that his department will collect samples from the other nine and continue to monitor their health. He added that during an H5N2 outbreak in Japan in 2005 and 2006, 48 of the 257 people at the farm tested positive for H5N2 antibodies but none developed flu-like symptoms. (By Lung Jui-yun and Jamie Wang)


Updated : 2021-05-16 19:13 GMT+08:00