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Fatal H5N1 Cluster in Pakistan

Recombinomics Commentary
December 13, 2007

two brothers Muhammad Ilyas and Tariq working in a poultry farm in Mansera suffered flu, few days back that later turned to be critical in the form of Bird Flu influenza (H5N1).

They were admitted to a local hospital in Peshawar where on Monday they died.

The above comments describe two fatal H5N1 infections in Pakistan, which appear to be related to a poultry outbreak last month.  More details on disease onset dates would be useful.

Pakistan has not previously reported human cases and H5N1 sequences from bird infections have not been released, although it seems likely that the sequences in Pakistan will be similar to sequences from Afghanistan, which has had outbreaks in close proximity to the Northwest Frontier in Pakistan (see satellite map).

Recent sequences from Afghanistan have also not been published, but it seems likely that sequences will be closely related to the recent H5N1 cases in Krasnodar, which were related to sequences in Europe this summer as well as Kuwait

Thus, these two confirmed fatalities raise concerns for health risks associated with the wildly circulating H5N1 that links back to Uva Lake in Mongolia in 2006.

Sequence data on bird and human isolates from Pakistan would be useful.

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