According to official estimates, 70 people have been infected with bird flu since the beginning of the current epidemic, but researchers say the true number of infections could be much greater.
So far there has been no coordinated effort to determine the spread of the virus and the lack of information is hindering attempts to understand and tackle the disease. In this article in Science, Martin Enserink and Dennis Normile explain why there are gaps in the information being gathered.
The article comes just as reports of an outbreak of bird flu in North Korea have been published in the South Korean press. Klaus Stöhr, coordinator of the World Health Organization's global influenza programme, notes that it would be difficult to investigate and bring under control an outbreak in this secretive nation.
Link to full article in Science
Reference: Science 307, 1865 (2005)