WHO official says bird flu not mutating

January 11, 2006

A World Health Organization official says the bird flu virus in Turkey does not appear to be mutating.

Dr. Guenael Rodier said epidemiologic and virologic investigations so far have found "no evidence to suggest any difference in the disease pattern than what we have previously seen for A(H5N1)," the New York Times reported

The molecular pattern of the viruses that have infected people and animals is similar, said Rodier, who added that he had "no reason to believe anything strange is going on," the newspaper said

Rodier said the patients in Turkey seem to have caught the virus from direct contact with infected poultry.

While the sudden appearance of a number of cases of bird flu is worrisome, Rodier said it is probably linked to the complexities of bird migration.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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