Now a Human Victim of Bird Flu in India?

VIA Statesman News Service

BALURGHAT. Jan, 31: Panic broke out at Mangalpur More, Jogomaya Para in Balurghat today, over the illness of a 17-year-old girl.
The victim, Ms Priyanka Malakar has been admitted to the Balurghat Hospital with breathing trouble, high fever and rashes all over her body her body.
Neighbours fear that the girl has fallen a victim to Bird Flu but the doctors are still not certain about it.
Admitting the matter, the CMOH, South Dinajpur Mr BB Mahapatra said that the symptoms were similar to human flu and measles.
 “Nothing can be said for certain at this point. We are sending her blood samples for tests to Bhopal. She would be under observation till the test results reach us,” the CMOH, said.
Doctors treating the victim refused to comment on the matter, which has stoked further imagination and rumour.
The CMOH’s version has not been able to convince the Mangalpur residents, who suspect the girl has been contaminated with avian flu.
“Since we stay close to the victim’s house, people are avoiding us,” lamented Priyanka’s next door neighbours Mrs Swagata Saha and Mrs Bandana Guha.
The neighbours alleged that the culling teams engaged by the district administration had not visited their area although almost every house in that area had some chickens or ducks.
The South Dinajpur district magistrate Mr Swapan Chatterjee, said that he had not been informed of the development. He was also unhappy to learn that culling teams were yet to visit the Jogomaya Para area. The DM assured to look into the matter.


Mini Lakes Of Egg Yolk as Bird Flu Panic Grows.

In a clear display of panic, hundreds of thousands of Eggs are being destroyed in the state of West Bengal in India, creating mini lakes of rapidly decaying egg yolk, in hastily dug ditches.
Meanwhile India’s worst outbreak of bird flu spread as health authorities battled to stop it reaching the densely populated city of Kolkata amid heavy rain that hampered culling efforts.
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Authorities reported the disease had affected two more districts, bringing the number hit by avian flu to 12 out of West Bengal state’s total of 19.The fear of the H5N1 virus is spreading to other parts of India as well.–                                                                                                                                               –                                                                                   –
In neighbouring Bangladesh from where the Indian outbreak is believed to have spread, health teams slaughtered a large number of birds in a border area amid a worsening bird flu situation across the country.
Some 2,646 chickens, ducks and pigeons were culled and 1,140 eggs destroyed in Bangladesh’s southern Patuakhali district, about 160 km south of capital Dhaka Thursday night after detection of avian influenza.
There are also reports of a large number of Crows dying of the H5N1 virus in Patuakhali in southern Bangladesh.
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The deadly bird flu virus has also killed 30 chickens in Thailand, marking the second outbreak of bird flu in 10 months, livestock officials said yesterday.

This is the second outbreak of bird flu in Thailand since March 18, 2007.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed that a 34-year-old man from Vietnam has died of H5N1 avian influenza.
While in Indonesia, a 30-year-old man has died of bird flu, the health ministry said Thursday, bringing the toll to 98 in the nation worst hit by the H5N1 virus.
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In the UK, a sixth swan from a bird sanctuary has tested positive for avian flu, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed.The news comes after restrictions on the movement of poultry or other captive birds in the Wild Bird Monitoring Area around Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset, England were lifted at 3pm on Friday.-                                                                                                                                                    –The Bird Flu Virus has spread to 15 countries since the beginning of this year!

Bird Flu Panic In India

The Bird Flu virus is creating a growing sense of panic in India.
For the first time, there is a real sense of fear of the killer virus, not only in the effected states of Bengal and Bihar but all over India.
 The Times Of India Editorial put it this way- An Excerpt:
More than 6,00,000 eggs are piling up in Namakkal, the poultry capital of Tamil Nadu, even as egg prices slide with the fall in demand.
Thousands of broiler chickens are waiting in the wings as poultry entrepreneurs pray for importers to resume buying. The avian flu outbreak in West Bengal has simply devastated the poultry farmer in Tamil Nadu — setting the industry back by over Rs 500 crore — though the distance between the two states is thousands of kilometres and there is absolutely no sign of the virus in the south. Meanwhile, the government of West Bengal — where the H5N1 flu virus has now infected poultry in half the state — is unable to contain the outbreak.

It is wasting precious time sparring with the Centre, which has accused the state government of not doing enough on time.
The West Bengal government must act quickly to contain the outbreak, before it spreads to neighbouring states. Five persons have been quarantined in West Bengal as they have shown symptoms of avian flu, but as yet there are no confirmed cases.

Right now the impact on the poultry industry is much more disconcerting. It is losing out on huge export orders to countries in the Gulf among others. Fear of a possible pandemic is turning consumers away from chicken and eggs.
This is a pity since they are a relatively affordable source of protein. Poultry exporters say that they want the central government to divide the country zone-wise so that there is a clear understanding of which parts are affected and which are not. Zoning would help producers label their products.

This proposal should be implemented. Zoning and labelling would help revive exports somewhat. The World Health Organisation says this is the worst outbreak of H5N1 virus in India till date.
But the infrastructure and laboratory facilities to enable documentation, testing, detection and research in both animal/bird and human samples are inadequate.

Spread of Bird Flu in to Bihar could be really bad news.

The State Government of Bihar today ordered culling of chickens in six panchayat areas in Katihar district, adjacent to affected Malda district of West Bengal, “as a preventive measure”, a day after imposing a blanket ban on entry of poultry from the neighbouring state.
Earlier, contrary to the claims of the West Bengal govt that bird flu has been contained, the deadly virus on Wednesday was detected in samples of dead chicken in Cooch Behar district.
The state of Bihar is under-developed even when compared to most of the other regions of India.
The poverty and lack of education, specially within the large Muslim population in Bihar makes it an ideal target for the killer virus.
Basic Hygiene and common sense give way to tradition and religious practices in this part of India
I have always believed that the number of the human victims of the bird flu are directly related to the custom of Halal, where the poultry is killed by making a cut in the throat of the bird and letting the blood flow out while the bird is held up side down by its feet.
Bihar like the State of West Bengal, is host to millions of refugees from the neighbouring country of Bangladesh, where H5N1 is thought to be endemic now.
So if bird flu in Bengal is bad, it could be a lot worse in Bihar.

Iran admits to Bird Flu! Could Homosexuals in Iran be the next revelation?

The world woke up yesterday, to find that Iran was not after all,  immune to the Bird Flu “due to the country’s moral strength”.
“Iran filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday says the outbreak occurred in Mazandaran, a northern province that fronts on the Caspian Sea.”

The above was an amazing case of no doubt “pure coincident” as this admission of the bird flu outbreak, followed a news item from MEMRI, that was published by the !!

The news item from MEMRI reported that the Iranian authorities had prohibited the country’s media from covering the problem of avian flu in Iran.
Iranians have since then accused the MEMRI, of having political motives to report news “to make Iran look bad. “.

I do not know about the political leanings of MEMRI but that was the ONLY source other than the Glorious Iranian Press about what is going on in that darkened country.

birdflubreakingnews has thousands of blogs and bird flu related news items on its site, from every country in the world (even from an imprisoned country like Burma) but almost nothing from Iran!

I have had “unconfirmed reports” about cases of H5N1 for a long time now, but I have not been able to get a confirmed source for such outbreaks.

We would not need MMRI, if only the Iranian Government sources had been able to tell the world, the truth about what is going on in that country.

Is it possible that now the Iranians will also admit to have homosexuals in their distinctly non-pink country?

J M Tom

2008 the year of the Flu Pandemic?

I have been following the H5N1 virus for a while now.
Since the year 2003, the bird flu virus repeatedly seems to appeare out of no where, for no visible reason, mostly in a remote (from the point of view of the west) country in the far east and then, after a short period of local panic, the virus disappears, again for no provable reason.
We have gotten used to this peak-a-boo game, with the deadliest of potential dangers to mankind to such an extent, that there are “journalists” taking bets against the chance of a pandemic-in-our-time.
There are others who think that bird flu is a social network tool and have regular get together shindings and a jolly good knees-up.
This year is different however.
The year started with the H5N1 virus ruling the roost, so to speak, in 10 countries just in the first 15 days of the year!
This time the outbreaks of the virus seem to be spreading much faster over a much wider area.
Portugal, Dominica, Israel, Benin, Vietnam, China, West Bengal in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar have all been hit by outbreaks.
On Wednesday, a fourth swan died of the H5N1 virus in the Abbotsbury reserve in Dorset, southern England.
So can this be the year that the dreaded pandemic visits mankind once again?
With the US Presidential election in full swing, will any one pay attention to what could be a vast shadow creeping silently over all of us?
Come to think of it, did any of the Presidential Candidates mention bird flu in any of the debates?
Is it even politically correct to mention the bird flu virus these days?
I mean would the color of the poultry and the birds (other than the totally white British swans) come into play?

Bird Flu Good news at last!

There has been a new step forward in the development of an effective vaccine against H5N1, the bird flu virus that’s also dangerous to humans.
By adding an agent that stimulates the immune system, it appears that the existing vaccine is effective against various strains of the bird flu virus.

Uncertainty has been the biggest problem in developing an effective vaccine against the variant of H5N1 that’s dangerous to humans.

Uncertainty about which strain of the virus it is, and uncertainty over which type of bird flu could develop into a flu virus that might cause a worldwide epidemic. That made it almost impossible to develop a preventative vaccine.
But with the discovery made by the British pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Klein, uncertainty over the virus strain has become less significant.
The improved vaccine has been tested by Viro-Clinics, part of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam.
According to virologist Ab Osterhaus, there are several reasons to speak of a breakthrough:
“The vaccine protects against different variants of the H5N1 virus, including new strains.” Professor Ab OsterhausAccording to the virologist, that’s unique.“We have always had to react after the event, but now we can produce a vaccine that offers protection against new and forthcoming variants of the same virus.”What’s more, tests have shown that by adding the agent, a lot less vaccine is required. And that’s very important during a worldwide flu epidemic, when huge quantities of vaccine are needed.

The agent is a so-called adjuvant that is added to a medicine to strengthen its effectiveness.

In this case, the substance stimulates the immune system and improves the response to the vaccine.

The Erasmus Medical Centre tested the agent on people and on ferrets which, like people, suffer from flu viruses.

 Osterhaus explained the results: “The humans appeared to have a relatively broad immune response.

The ferrets were first vaccinated, then exposed to H5N1, and there too we witnessed a demonstrably broad protection against the virus.”