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Detecting human-to-human transmission of avian influenza A (H5N1)


Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) subtype H5N1 has caused family case clusters, mostly in Southeast Asia, that could be due to human-to-human transmission. Should this virus, or another zoonotic influenza virus, gain the ability of sustained human-to-human transmission, an influenza pandemic could result. This study's researchers used statistical methods to test whether observed clusters of HPAI (H5N1) illnesses in families in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, and eastern Turkey were due to human-to-human transmission. Given that human-to-human transmission occurs, they estimate the infection secondary attack rates (SARs) and the local basic reproductive number, R0. They find statistical evidence of human-to-human transmission in Sumatra but not in Turkey.

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