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WHO investigates possible human to human transmission of avian flu

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 05 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:308
  1. Jane Parry
  1. Hong Kong

The World Health Organization expressed concern this week that the first case of human to human transmission of H5N1 avian influenza may have occurred. Officials are investigating the case of two sisters in Vietnam who died of the disease and who may have contracted it from their brother.

Bob Dietz, WHO's spokesman in Vietnam, said: “There was a considerable delay between the infection of the man and his two sisters, and this anomaly has put a question mark over how they were infected.” One of the two sisters is not known to have been in contact with infected poultry, but was in contact with their brother shortly before being taken ill. He …

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