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Kocyigit and Ozman H5N1 Victims Are Cousins

Recombinomics Commentary

January 20, 2006

The first deaths were three children from the Koçyiğit family, aged 11, 14 and 15, hailing from the impoverished eastern town of Dogubayazit. They were followed on Monday by Fatma Özcan, their 16-year-old cousin.

There are currently four children diagnosed as H5N1 carriers in Van hospital.

One is Fatma's five-year-old brother Muhammed; the others are his cousins, 11-year-old Ayşegül and three-year-old Yusuf;

The above comments indicate that not only are the two sets of Ozcan cousins, but so are the children in the Kocyigit family.  Media reports also indicate that that the families were together at the end of December, just before the children began developing symptoms.

The number of patients involved was remarkable.  The first four patients admitted to van were the Kocyigit siblings.  All four had similar symptoms, except the three oldest siblings were unconscious upon arrival in Van.  All four initially tested negative, but the three oldest died and tested positive for H5N1.

The siblings were described in WHO updates,  However, the updates did not disclose disease onset dates or the fact that 9 cousins and an aunt had been admitted to the same hospital with symptoms and two of the cousins Asyegul Ozman and Yusuf Ozman tested positive for H5N1.  Thus, out the first 20 patients admitted to Van, 14 were related.

They were followed by two more cousins Fatma and Yusuf.  Like her cousins, Fatma initially tested negative, died, and then tested positive for H5N1.  Yusuf also tested positive.  The WHO report of these two cousins also failed to not that three family members had died and two more were H5N1 positive.

Thus, there were 16 relatives admitted.  4 died and were H5N1 positive, 3 are still hospitalized and are H5N1 positive, and 9 were hospitalized and released.  None of the nine released are confirmed H5N1 cases, although some or all had bird flu symptoms when hospitalized.

The failure to include the relationships in the WHO updates was not an oversight.  WHO officials had issued statement early in the outbreak indicating two large families had symptoms and were being investigated,  However, when the relatives died or were confirmed to be H5N1 positive WHO did not include information about the H5N1 confirmed or suspected relatives.

This deliberate obfuscation of relevant information is cause for concern.  The 9 discharged patients have not been retested to show that they indeed were H5N1 positive.  Moreover, WHO uses false negatives to exclude patients in clusters that demonstrate human-to-human transmission.  The data manipulation is now extending into the new guidelines which stretch out incubation to further obscure obvious human-to-human transmission. The early dismissal of the fatality in Iraq with clear bird flu symptoms suggest the credibility of WHO has reached a new low.

The scandalous behavior creates a lack of transparancy and gives license to countries hiding bird and human H5N1 outbreaks.


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