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Experts dampen bird flu fears

Thai health official have been on high alert to monitor any return of bird flu.
World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- -- International health officials at an emergency meeting in Bangkok Monday said there is no evidence that bird flu has been passed from one human to another.

At the same time, Thai Health Ministry spokesman Nitaya Mahapol said a woman is the second confirmed case of the virus in the country's current outbreak, which surfaced in July.

As a result, hospitals and health officials across the country have been put on high alert to monitor any return of the disease -- the H5N1 strain of the virus.

Suspicion of person-to-person transmission emerged after members of the same family showed signs of bird flu in the country's north-central province of Kamphaeng Phet.

A committee comprised of representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and Thai Health Ministry officials has been formed with the sole purpose of monitoring any potential human-to-human transmission, Nitaya said.

Earlier this year, the bird flu ravaged Asia's poultry industry and jumped to humans in Vietnam and Thailand, killing 24 people. About 100 million chickens across the region were slaughtered to halt its spread.

Thailand, the world's fourth-largest chicken exporter, slaughtered more than 40 million birds in its bid to eradicate the virus earlier this year. The virus killed eight people in that episode.

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