Bird Flu Alarm

2006-01-10-Tests show 77 people have bird flu antibodies in Japan

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-01-10-Tests show 77 people have bird flu antibodies in Japan

A total of 77 people in Japan, mostly chicken farm workers, may have been infected with the H5N2 strain of avian influenza, in the world's first reported possible infection of humans with the strain weaker than the deadly H5N1 variety, according to a Japanese government report released Tuesday.

Antibody tests of their blood suggest the 77 people may have been infected but none had any symptoms nor the virus itself, and there is no danger of developing symptoms and infecting other people, government officials said.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases jointly tested 353 people comprising employees of 34 chicken farms in Ibaraki and Saitama prefectures that were earlier hit by the H5N2 pandemic and others who may have been in contact with infected poultry.

Understanding Avian Influenza