Tuesday, November 29, 2005

News - H5N1 strain mutates in human cases

STUDIES show the H5N1 strain of virus separated from China's human cases of bird flu has mutated, compared with the strain found in Vietnam's human cases, said the Ministry of Health yesterday.

Lab tests found the H5N1 strain of virus separated from recent human cases is highly homologous with that found in poultry samples from the bird flu in outbreak sites, said the ministry.

However, compared with the virus strain from the human cases in Vietnam, the genetic order of H5N1 in China's human cases has mutated "to a certain degree," the health ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an said.

"But the mutation cannot cause human-to-human transmission of the bird flu," he said.

The World Health Organization yesterday started investigating two bird flu deaths in Anhui Province. Both victims, women farmers, were in contact with sick and dead poultry.

H5N1 strain mutates in human cases

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