Mr Cordingley said that the Sumatran cases presented a major puzzle, as they were the largest cluster of human cases to date.
"[This] is probably the most worrying incident so far since bird flu started nearly three years ago and we can't find any obvious source of infection. We can find no sign of infected chickens; no sign of the virus in the environment around where they live," he said.
All seven people who died were members of the same family. An eighth family member is also thought to have the disease.
While testing appears to indicate that the virus has not mutated, this case is a cause for concern. The is very good reason to suspect that the virus not only was transmitted from the initial sick family member to some in their family, but that one of those who got sick, then infected another, Human to Human to Human transmission.
For a virus that has been very reluctant to transmit human to human this series of events is unexpected and a warning. Even without mutation, there is a real potential for this to spread in a human population.
One other detail of note, the mortality of the virus is still very high, with seven of the eight infected members of this family dying. Lets hope that if it does appear in the US and it does mutate into a more easily transmitted virus, our government is able to respond effectively.
because, we will need them to.
The Indonesia cluster does seem to have the WHO very concerned, they are talking about raising the global alert level.
If the global alert status were increased, international stockpiles of antiviral drugs would probably be shipped to Indonesia and travel from the country would be monitored in an attempt to contain the outbreak.