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May 15, 2006

Djibouti appeals for help to fight bird fluHarowo.com

Alarab Online

Choukri, first human bird flu case in sub-Saharan Africa

Djibouti, which has confirmed the first human bird flu case in sub-Saharan Africa, has asked the international community for help in halting the spread of the deadly disease.

Laboratory tests last week showed a two-year-old girl tested positive for the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus.

Three sick siblings have also had tests for possible infections, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

Health Minister Abdallah Abdillahi Miguil said more than $4.4 million would be needed to fight the spread of the virus in the Red Sea country of 300,000, to train medical staff, put in surveillance networks and get laboratory equipment and drugs.

"The situation is under control but we are asking for cooperation from partners so that the situation does not worsen," Miguil told a news conference late on Sunday.

He said the girl, from a poor rural area near Somalia, was in stable condition and her family had undergone blood tests.

The WHO says there have been more than 200 cases in 10 countries, including Djibouti, since late 2003, and 115 deaths.

Alarab Online. © 2005 All rights reserved.

Posted by dymaxion at May 15, 2006 09:19 PM

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