Probe into human-to-human bird flu transmissionBETTER BRACE YOURSELF: IT'S COMING...
ISLAMABAD: Health officials yesterday were investigating a possible human-to-human transmission of bird flu among four brothers in north-west Pakistan, two of whom later died.
Khushnood Akhtar, secretary in Pakistan's Ministry of Health, said the bird flu cases occurred last month in Manshera, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), when a man contracted the H5N1 virus while working on a poultry farm and helping to cull sick birds.
Human-to-human transmissions are extremely rare, with only three previous cases in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The Pakistani man, who has not been identified, survived the virus, but may have infected three of his brothers, none of whom had ever been to the farm or were believed to have been in contact with sick birds, Akhtar said.