Left: Avia flu H5N1
(North Sumatra, Indonesia) All seven confirmed cases of avian flu - six of whom have died - appear to be part of a cluster of human-to-human transmission of the virus, according to World Health Orgnization (WHO) officials.
WHO continues to search for a "possible alternative source" for the infection. Given the fact that at leat three of the victims spent the night of April 29 in a room with the index case, a 10-yeqr old boy, and the other victims lived nearby, the likelihood is strong that the H5N1 virus is developing more efficient means of spreading to humans.
218 cass of bird flu have been recorded by WHO since 2003, most of which can be traced to direct contact with infected or dead birds. A WHO official admitted that the agency may raise the pandemic alert level.
"Considering the evidence and the size of the cluster, it's a possibility," said Maria Cheng in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. "It depends on what we're dealing with in Indonesia. It's an evolving situation."