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‘No patients diagnosed with bird flu in Jordan since 2006’

By JT - Mar 24,2015 - Last updated at Mar 24,2015

AMMAN — The Health Ministry reaffirmed on Tuesday that no cases of bird flu (H5N1) have been recorded in Jordan since 2006, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The agency quoted Mohammad Abdullat, director of the Health Ministry’s communicable diseases directorate, as saying that the only H5N1 case recorded in Jordan was in 2006 and the patient was an Egyptian guest worker.

Abdullat dismissed as baseless reports claiming that new cases of H5N1 have been diagnosed, clarifying that it was confused with the H1N1 virus, previously known as swine flu, which is now a seasonal flu.

The ministry tracks respiratory diseases including flu all year at four selected hospitals across the Kingdom and reports show that the flu season in recent years has been starting later than it used to, Petra reported.

Bird flu or avian influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds (especially wild water fowl such as ducks and geese), often causing no apparent signs of illness, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

AI viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious disease. Some of these AI viruses have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease or subclinical infections in humans and other mammals, according to the WHO website.

Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans; however some, such as A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.

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