Bird flu resurfaces in Asia: Pakistan and Myanmar report first human cases

Pakistan and Myanmar have reported their first human cases of H5N1 bird flu as the virus continues to flare in other parts of Asia, including recent deaths in Indonesia and China. Six people were infected with the virus in northern Pakistan last month and at least one has died, the government said Saturday. World Health Organization country representative Khalif Bile confirmed all of the cases were positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu in preliminary testing conducted at a government laboratory, but said a second round of analysis was being conducted to ensure the results. If confirmed, they would be the first human cases detected in South Asia. Two brothers died in the northwestern city of Peshawar, but specimens were only gathered from one of them, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Officials were trying to identify how the victims became infected and were monitoring people who had been in contact with the sick. Myanmar experienced its first human case when a 7-year-old girl from the eastern Shan State became ill Nov. 21 in an area where poultry outbreaks had earlier been reported, WHO said. She was hospitalized and has since recovered.