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WHO Says Bird Flu Seems Under Control In Azerbaijan

(RFE/RL) March 22, 2006 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) says an outbreak of bird flu in Azerbaijan that has killed five people now appears to be under control.

The WHO in Geneva confirmed on March 21 that the five were infected with the H5N1 bird-flu strain. Two other people had tested positive for the virus since late February. One of them has recovered, while the other remains in hospitalized in critical condition.

A spokeswoman for WHO's mission in Azerbaijan, Cristiana Salvi, said today there were not new cases arising. She added that WHO epidemiologists are looking into the possibility that the victims fell ill after plucking dead wild swans for their feathers.

The virus has spread through Asia to Europe and Africa, killing around 100 people worldwide since 2003.


Affected Areas

Affected Areas

Click on the map for a closer view of the areas within RFE/RL's broadcast region where cases of diseased fowl have been confirmed. Last updated on February 20.

BIRD FLU, or avian influenza, continues to menace scattered areas from East Asia, where the disease first appeared, to Southeastern and Eastern Europe and beyond. Authorities around the world are bracing themselves -- and, more importantly, planning and taking measures to fight the disease wherever it appears.

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