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New Suspect H5N1 Case in Pakistan Increases Concerns

Recombinomics Commentary 2:48
December 28, 2007

another suspected H5N1 case has been found in the same region of Pakistan as the recent cluster but with no known connection to it. The suspected case is in an 8-year-old who had contact with sick poultry before falling ill, he reported.

"The new case is in the same region, but there's no epidemiologic link to the other cases," Rainford said

The above comments describe a new suspect sporadic H5N1 case in Pakistan.  The new specifics on the earlier clusters, including some disease onset dates, raise concerns of more efficient transmission of H5N1 in Pakistan.  The disease onset dates of the large cluster which began in late October and extended at least through the end of November demonstrated multiple human to human transmissions.

The lack of transparency, delayed reporting, and abysmal collection and handling of samples, raise serious concerns over false negatives.  The new case above suggests there are additional cases in the area, which has been thrown into turmoil because of the Benazir Bhuttoh assassination.

With the human sequencing in doubt, sequences from poultry collected throughout 2006 and 2007 in Pakistan should be released, along with sequences from 2007 isolates in Afghanistan and India.

The sequence hoarding and false negatives increase pandemic concerns and contunue to be hazardous to the world's health.

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