WHO confirms Bangladesh's first H5N1 case

May 28, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed that a 16-month-old boy from Bangladesh had an H5N1 avian influenza infection in January but has since recovered.

The boy, who is officially listed as Bangladesh's first H5N1 case, got sick on Jan 27, the WHO said in a statement today. His H5N1 infection was identified retrospectively during seasonal surveillance by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi government officials announced on May 22 that the boy's infection had been confirmed the day before by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is a WHO reference laboratory.

The boy is from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The WHO said he had been exposed to live and slaughtered chickens in his home. Health officials have collected samples from his family members and neighbors, but none so far show any signs off H5N1 infections, the agency added.

Bangladesh, along with the neighboring Indian state of West Bengal, experienced widespread poultry outbreaks over the winter. The H5N1 virus struck 50 of Bangladesh's 64 districts, according to a recent Agence France-Presse report.

Today's WHO confirmation of the Bangladeshi case raises the global H5N1 count to 383 cases with 241 deaths.

See also:

May 28 WHO statement

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