Bird-Flu Human Cases Map from WHO as of May31st – already out of date!

The latest Bird Flu map from the WHO (dated May31st 2007) is out of date already.

There are new cases of the Bird-Flu popping up almost every other day!

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2 Responses

  1. I believe it is important to consider how eradication efforts may exert unintended selection pressures on the H5N1 virus. Killing the hosts to eliminate the presence of a virus in nature has never worked. Even Equine Infectious Anemia, a virus with only horses, donkeys, zebras, and mules for hosts has not been eradicated after years of ruthless culling.
    A virus that is inhibited in its’ spread is more likely to evolve into a more easily transmissible organism, because only the most easily transmitted forms survive well enough to continue finding new hosts. Reports have stated that the lethality rate of H5N1 has been increasing in one country where culling has been employed on a massive scale.
    It is time to consider some innovative solutions. The low pathogenic H5N1 may offer an opportunity to head off the high pathogenic virus before it spreads further. There are concerns that the low path form can evolve into the high path form. It is much more likely to do that if the spread is not a controlled spread, but a wild distribution of both forms running rampant throughout the world.
    I believe it is time for the WHO and CDC to consider a new approach to pandemic prevention. Controlled distribution of the low pathogenic form, leaving surviving birds immune to the high pathogenic form might well prevent a pandemic if it were done quickly enough and were monitored well enough to catch any disturbing mutations. This seems preferable to wiping out the poultry industry in most of the world, wiping out people’s livelihoods, and wiping out an important source of food in underdeveloped nations.
    If H5N1 resistent chicken flocks could be distributed and propagated, these birds could serve as a fire break against the spread of high pathogenic H5N1.

  2. Thank you Valerie, for a very well thought out comment.

    There is of course the added problem, that the H5N1 virus has been found in a number of different species of mammals as well as Birds of all kind.

    Today there is a report of a House Crow with H5N1 virus was found in Hong Kong:

    Preliminary testing of a House Crow found in Hong Kong had indicated a suspected case of H5 avian influenza, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said Wednesday. The spokesman said further confirmatory tests were being conducted. The carcass of the bird was collected by department staff at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground on June 11. Source: Xinhua

    JM

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