Seventy seven poultry workers in Japan have tested positive for bird flu in the first ever human infections involving the weaker strain of the virus that has hit its chicken industry, the government said.
The farm workers in Ibaraki and Saitama prefectures, both north of Tokyo, were infected at some point in the past but currently show no symptoms, the health and welfare ministry said Tuesday, January 10. The ministry said the workers posed no risk to others and had the H5N2 virus, a milder strain than H5N1 which has killed more than 75 people since 2003.
"The result of the tests showed that a total of 77 people were carrying antibodies supposed to be created following an infection of H5N2," a ministry official said. "It was the first ever case in the world showing a human infection of H5N2," the official said, adding however that developing countries hit hardest by bird flu rarely bother trying to confirm cases of the weaker strain.
The ministry and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases carried out tests on 350 workers and their families at affected chicken farms.
If you have a site similar to mine and would like to exchange links, please contact me through my website.
Links to this post: Go back to the mainpage.