Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Research confirms human to human transmission of avian flu

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 27 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:211

Rapid Response:

Re: Avian 'flu - genetic susceptibility?

It would be interesting to know the genetic susceptability to avian
flu virus.Other point that should also be considered is the seroprevalance
survey among people of countries affected by H5N1 virus.
A report by Dr. Arnold Bosman and colleagues appeared in Eurosurveillance
weekly suggested that during Dutch 2003 outbreak of H7N7, atleast half of
those exposed to infected poultry had H7 antibodies.They also suggested
that H7N7 avian infection possibly occured in 1000-2000 people and
population at risk for avain influenza was not limited to those in direct
contact with infected poultry but rather person-to-person transmission may
have occured on a larger scale.
It may also be the case with H5N1 infection, there may be many infected
people who are either asymptomatic or have mild symtoms but may be
unknowingly transfering it to others.
The good news though is that two companies have developed prototype
vaccine for H5N1 and is in the clinical trial stage.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 February 2005
Mohammad A Khan
Medical Health Officer
SK, Canada, S0E 1A0