Bird flu claims five lives in Azerbaijan

March 23, 2006

World Health Organization officials say five more deaths attributed to avian flu have been reported in Azerbaijan, the Novosti news agency reported.

Tests conducted by WHO experts showed seven people were infected by the H5N1 virus strain after coming into contact with wild birds. Of the seven, a 10-year-old boy has recovered, while a 15-year-old girl is still hospitalized, Novosti reported.

Scientists are concerned the bird flu virus could mutate, developing the ability to pass between humans and causing a pandemic that might result in as many as 7 million human deaths worldwide.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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