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Tests show Sumatra pigs carry bird flu virus

18 May 2006

SUMATRA - Pigs have tested positive for bird flu in the same village on Indonesia's Sumatra island where five people have been confirmed infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus, a minister said on Thursday.

The case involving up to seven family members, six of whom have died, has raised alarm around the world because authorities cannot rule out human-to-human transmission.

But the World Health Organisation and Indonesian health officials had been frustrated by the lack of evidence pointing to a source of the virus, usually infected poultry.

The WHO confirmed on Wednesday that five members of the family had contracted H5N1 and tests on a sixth were pending.

Officials had said earlier that on-the-spot testing of various animals living around Kubu Simbelang village in North Sumatra province had given negative results for avian influenza.

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Source: ArabTimes


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