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WHO rules out bird flu in Sudanese man

Written by: Staff

GENEVA, Apr 20 (Reuters) A Sudanese man suspected of having bird flu has now tested negative for the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said today.

Sudanese health officials reported on Tuesday that the man had bird flu, according to local test results.

But a team of WHO experts sent immediately to the country with a mobile laboratory tested the man's sample and found no trace of the virus, WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng said.

''The sample came back negative,'' she told Reuters in Geneva.

The man, a poultry farmer, remains hospitalised in Khartoum in stable condition, she added. It was not immediately clear what illness he actually was suffering from.

''There are no other suspect cases. There aren't any other people under observation,'' Cheng said.

Sudanese officials had said the man and five chickens had proved positive for bird flu but did not say if the virus was the deadly H5N1 strain.

The infected chickens were found at two farms in Sudan's Khartoum and Jazeera provinces. The man owned one of the farms.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found in neighbouring Egypt, where national health authorities have reported four deaths among 12 cases. To date, the WHO has confirmed two human deaths among four cases in Egypt.

Worldwide, the WHO has confirmed 110 deaths among 196 cases of bird flu since 2003.


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