Now, even Yemen is “free” of Bird Flu!

In a news item from SABA, Majid alJuneid, the Deputy Minister of Public Health and Population, for primary health care sector in Yemen, has affirmed that Yemen is free of Bird Flu and that there is no case registered either on people or birds.

Al-Juneid explained to SABA that the Yemen government had exerted considerable efforts to track this world disease.He said that the Government had set up TWO OPERATION ROOMS in the health ministry and the ministry of agriculture, to watch this epidemic across the country.In addition, they had equipped five labs, in different governorates, to receive such cases, if found, and treat them.


 “To receive such cases”? What cases? I thought that Yemen was “Free of Bird Flu”!

Why is it that the Governments HAVE to make such silly statements?

Every country,  in the entire world is free of bird flu, until that is, an infected case appears in that country.

To say that a country was free of bird flu, one would have to guarantee, that not only was there no current H5N1 infection in the domestic or the wild birds and mammals (not an easy thing to do) but also, that no infection would appear any where in that country, for a given period of time!

Let say that a reasonable period of time for such an assurance, is one year. 

Can Majid alJuneid, the Deputy Minister of Public Health and Population, for primary health care sector in Yemen, assure us that Yemen is “free of bird flu” for at least a period of one year?

If not, then should he make a statement like that? 

Similar statements have been made by other countries in the past (with a deafening silence from the WHO signifying its approval of the said announcements) only to find that the H5N1 virus appeared in that country shortly after that. 

Revere, in his blog Effect Measure, describes the repeated assurances from officials of the WHO and other experts, that the “bird flu outbreak in Russia would fade away in two weeks”.

He names this “no-bird-flu-in-two-weeks” guesstimate by the experts, as a KISELYOV.

How about a definition of an entire country that is free-of-bird-flu?


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