World health chiefs said today that they were increasingly concerned about the bird flu deaths of six Indonesians from one family, raising fears of the first human-to-human transmission of the deadly H5N1 virus.
Seven members of an Indonesian family in the village of Kubu Sembelang, northern Sumatra, have been infected with bird flu, of whom six have died, despite not coming into contact with diseased birds.
Last night, the Word Health Organisation said human transmission was a possible cause of the cluster, but said there was no evidence of a wider spreading of the virus.
"This is the most significant development so far in terms of public health," Peter Cordingley, spokesman for the West Pacific region of the WHO, told Reuters Television in Manila today. Source : Times