Avian Flu Update

In the four months since his last update on H5N1 (the Avian flu), I.I.I.’s chief economist and resident bird flu expert Dr. Steven Weisbart notes that 22 more people have been confirmed to have been infected with the disease, and 15 of them have died. This brings the cumulative total to at least 201 dead and 329 confirmed infected since December 2003 (the start of the current outbreak) through October 2, 2007. In 2007 alone there have been 66 infections and 43 deaths (65 percent), roughly the same pace of infections and deaths as in 2006 (69 percent death rate). Dr. Weisbart explains that the lethality rate of the virus varies substantially: in 2007, 25 percent of those infected in Egypt died, compared to 87.5% of those infected in Indonesia. Human infection is still believed to be mainly from birds to humans, basically from very close contact with infected chickens and similar birds in home environments. Virtually all of the cases continue to be under 40 years old. There are still no cases of birds or people in the U.S. with this flu virus.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *