Politics & the Nation
Human infections with H5N1 peaked in 2006, when 115 cases -- 79 of them fatal -- were reported to the WHO. In 2008, there were 40 cases of human infection with H5N1, leading to 30 deaths -- a tiny number compared with the death toll from ordinary flu. Avian influenza is highly dreaded. If it infects humans, it spreads very fast and almost always results in high mortality.