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H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmed in Patient and Poultry in Djibouti

Recombinomics Commentary

May 11, 2006

The health ministry said that virology tests from samples of an infected person taken last month were positive for the virulent strain of the flu virus, which had also affected three domestic fowl.

"Tests from a person suffering from flu-like symptoms on April 27 were positive for the disease," it said. "Three domestic hens were also affected by the virus."

The ministry said the tests were carried out with the collaboration of the World Health Organisation at a laboratory in Cairo.

The above confirmation of H5N1 bird flu in a patient in Djibouti raise additional concerns about the spread of H5N1 in people and poultry, and the failure to detect H5N1 in adjacent countries.  Wild bird die-offs in adjacent southwest Yemen have been reported many times as have outbreaks in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya.  H5N1 has been repeatedly denied, but H5N1 confirmation in Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, and Iran raises significant credibility issues.

Similar credibility issues have become obvious due to reports from wildlife and wetland conservation groups as well as DEFRA.  The groups, like countries adjacent to Djibouti have repeated cited negative bird flu data with no positive LPAI results to validate the collection and testing methodologies employed.

These groups then use te false negatives to deny the transmission and transport of H5N1 by wild birds, although dozens of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have reported H5N1 for the first time.  Included in the list of countries in Africa that confirmed H5N1 are Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast.

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