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Thursday, June 01, 2006

First case of humans getting H5N1 bird flu from wild birds

A recent outbreak report (here) indicates that several people in Azerbaijan most likely died after contracting bird flu from infected wild swans. These individuals were apparently illegally harvesting feathers from the swans, so they had very close contact with the birds and their body fluids. As with previous human cases, people contracted the virus only through close and prolonged personal contact with infected birds or family members. There still does not appear to be any real threat to humans from casual contact with wild birds. With close contact with birds or their secretions, infection can be avoided with the proper sanitary measures (see here).

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