Bird Flu leaves lethal trail killing 262 of 431 people infected.
Since it was first discovered, Avian Influenza, commonly known as Bird Flu, has killed nearly 60 per cent of the people it has infected, according to new figures released by the World Health Organization.
So far, Bird Flu – H5N1 virus – has infected 431 people and killed 262, WHO said Friday.
Out of 141 people infected in Indonesia, it has killed 115 people, In China it was fatal for 25 out of 38 infected while in Egypt it proved deadly for 27 of 76 infected.
Avian Flu is not easily transmitted as the novel Swine Flu virus designated as H1N1. But Bird Flu has proved to be lethal and experts are already worried about the potential scenario of a combination virus produced when Bird Flu meets with Swine Flu in areas such as Indonesia, China and Egypt where Avian Flu has been most prevalent.
So far, 15 countries have reported Avian Flu in humans.
When it first surfaced in 2003, Avian Flu killed all four of the people it infected. The highest human infections were reported in 2006 but in subsequent years the figures have remained steady at between 30 to 40 infections per year.
Meanwhile, 53 countries have now reported a total of 15510 cases of Swine Flu with the death toll at 99. Mexico has the highest deaths at 853, the United States has 11 dead while Canada has reported 2 deaths out of 1,100 cases. The U.S. still leads with 7927 cases and 11 deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control figures which are more current than those published by WHO.
The high U.S. figures may reflect the diligence with which the CDC is carrying out surveillance while some experts suggest Canada’s figures may be lower because of less diligent testing. For example, B.C., which at the outset was leading the rest of Canada in Swine Flu cases, has only reported five new cases in five days for a total of 120.
Swine Flu is making a headway into South America with Chile and Peru now reporting a total of over 100 cases. The U.K. has almost doubled its figures to over 200.