Avian Influenza
Pakistan suspects first human case of bird flu
Apr 23, 2006, 19:32

A man suspected to be Pakistan's first human case of bird flu was hospitalised near here Saturday.

Muhammad Naveed, 27, who is suspected to be carrying the dreaded H5N1 virus has been kept in an isolation ward at the General Hospital Rawalpindi, 10 km from here.

"The patient carries all the symptoms associated with those affected with bird flu. However, it would be confirmed when the report of his blood tests are out," the hospital's medical superintendent Muhammad Asad said.

The blood tests are being carried out by the National Institute of Health, which is likely to release the results Sunday.

Naveed, a resident of Dhoke Khabba, is a poultry trader.

Last week Pakistan had confirmed an H5N1 outbreak at a chicken farm near Islamabad. Its first two bird flu cases were confirmed last month at two farms in North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.

The H5N1 strain has killed about 100 people in seven countries since 2003. Scientists fear a global pandemic if the virus mutates and becomes easily transmissible between humans.

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