Animals To Humans Infectious Diseases Map

From the BBC, a map of the world, showing risk levels of emerging diseases transmitted from wildlife.
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The researchers say the majority of hotspots are located in lower-latitude developing nations.
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Apologies to Professor Kilian for the UN Bird-Flu story.

Apologies to Crof the Prof for the UN Bird-Flu story. 

I apologize to Professor Kilian, if my comments in my last post, “Political Correctness from the UN Bird-Flu Boss?” were in any way taken as suggesting the “bombing of Indonesia”.

I have spent may years in Indonesia and around that region and love all of it.

Well, almost all of it.

There have been some very radical changes recently, that have brought a certain amount of nastiness in that country and in part of that region in my opinion.

But I digress!

The situation in Indonesia is a lot more complex than it appears on the surface.

The current “Bird-Flu policy” is not the result of a strong united Government.

As an example, during the infamous haggling with the WHO for the tissue samples of the victims of Bird-Flu, Siti Fadilah Supari, the Health Minister was fiercely opposed by a number of the other Ministers.

The Bali outbreak finally gave the chance of the opponents of the Health Minister (who were increasingly concerned about the image of the country around the world) to be able to over rule her mad policy.

The secrecy that prevails all things related to the Bird-Flu virus at this time, has resulted in a similar war of opinions raging in the highest echelons of power in that country.

The world can help those in the Government with better judgement, to prevail over the current H5N1 policy makers in Indonesia.

Very strong action must be taken without delay by the global community, against the apparent current policy of hiding of the facts related to the H5N1 virus in Indonesia.

No developmental aid, medical aid, or any other aid of any kind, should be made available to Indonesia, until the Government opens up completely as far as the H5N1 is concerned.

That kind of firm action from the rest of the world would be a great help to those in the Government who understand that H5N1 can not be contained or eliminated by any one country and want to share all their data related to the killer virus with the world.

Surely it is not a lot to ask of the virus inflicted country, to be simply honest about what is really going on in that country, as far as the H5N1 is concerned?

I would like to respectfully request that Dr Nabarro stops pussy footing around with false praise and other “diplomatic” gestures and gets down to the serious business of finding out the true facts about this killer dangerous virus in that country.

In the far east, FACE is the most important factor and basically the current Indonesian policy is all about face.

Some in the Government do not want the country to be seen as the sick nation of the region.

Then there are some factions, who really believe that the H5N1 is nothing but a conspiracy by the West, aimed at vaccinating the Muslim women in Indonesia in to infertility!

Not that Indonesia is the only problem as far as the hidden dangers of the Bird-Flu is concerned.

I believe that Vietnam currently has more cases of the human infection of H5N1 than Indonesia does.

It is just that in Vietnam, they can suppress the news better than they can in Indonesia!

Besides, as we all know, Vietnam has been “Bird-Flu-Free” more times than any other nation on this planet!

Not sure if Vietnam is Bird-flu-Free this week or if there has been another outbreak of the Bird-Flu some where in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Then there is China, the original source of most viruses in the world, including of course, the H5N1 virus.

We can expect many more viruses originating from and mutating in China, as the millions of starving and omnivorous people in the rural areas of that country, kill and devour all of their exotic wild life.

Of course the non exotic Dogs and Cats do not escape with their lives in China either!

Eating a Dog in China

Apparently, boiling the dog alive, is the best way to get the skin off easily.

In fact the St. Bernard breed is the best loved dog meat in China.

But that is another story. 


Beating Ducks to Death in China

I guess that I am not really surprised to find that the Chinese way of humanely “culling” chickens and ducks is to bash them on the head and body with a thick stick and basically beat them to death.

The ducks should consider them selves lucky really, I recall a video showing as to how cats and dogs are killed (for food) in China! Yes, the ducks are much much better off!

Here is an excerpt from a news item from The Standard, describing the “bashing-in the brains of the ducks in a massive cull in Guangdong province of China”:

A worker bashes in the brains of ducks in a massive cull in Guangdong province, following the confirmation of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu among ducks in Guangzhou’s Panyu district.

The outbreak means Hong Kongers may have to dig deeper into their pockets if they want chicken to be on their menu for next week’s Mid- Autumn Festival. The latest bird flu outbreak in Guangdong has forced the SAR authorities to scrap an earlier decision to allow live chicken imports from the mainland to be increased to 70,000 birds daily to meet the demand for the festival, which falls on Wednesday next week.The Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok said yesterday imports of live poultry as well as frozen ducks and geese from Guangdong will be suspended for three weeks.

“All chilled and frozen duck and geese from Guangdong will be suspended for one week, and the government will scrap an arrangement to increase imports of live chickens for the Mid-Autumn Festival,” Chow said.

But he stressed that the move is only a precautionary measure. “So far, no problems have been detected among mainland poultry and poultry products supplied to Hong Kong.”

According to the mainland authorities, nearly 10,000 ducks that died of bird flu at farms around Panyu had been vaccinated against the disease, sparking fears that the virus may have mutated.

Initial tests showed that the birds died of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, which can be transmitted to humans.

Chow said Hong Kong will suspend all imports of live chickens, eggs and chilled and frozen poultry meat from farms within a 24-kilometer radius of the infected farms near Panyu.

Guangdong Animal Epidemic Prevention Center director Yu Yedong said the outbreak was not due to vaccination problems.

“It was because there wasn’t enough time for the vaccinations to produce sufficient antibodies before the ducks caught the virus, and most of the birds were baby ducks,” he said.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority said yesterday all public hospitals have been placed on full alert for possible cases of avian flu in view of the outbreak in Guangdong.


Should it Not be called Bird-Flu anymore?

Tens of Millions of birds of all kind, as well as domestic poultry have been killed around the world because of the Bird-Flu.

These unfortunate birds were not not even suffering from the Bird-Flu virus.

They were in fact not sick at all.

Millions and millions of the birds were killed, just-in-case.

Just-in-case, they had the Bird-Flu virus, or may be they could be infected with the virus, some time in the future.

Some people were worried that these birds could be carrying the virus in a dormant form and this dormant virus could mutate in their body, to a form of the virus that is much more virulent and could even become a human virus.

The wild birds and the domestic poultry were killed just in case they turned in to “mutation chambers” for the H5N1 virus.

The problem is that the Bird-Flu virus has been infecting all kinds of other creatures, in addition to the birds for a while now.

The H5N1 or the Bird-Flu virus has been found in a large number of mammals, ranging from domestic cats, dogs etc, to wild rodents, foxes, bats and even Tigers!

Unlike wild birds, that are frequently found dead where they can be seen by people and can be tested for the virus, wild animals in the bush can not. 


So why is it that when talking about the “wild” repository of the H5N1 virus, every one mentions only the wild birds?

Surely small infected mammals of all kinds in the wild are much more likely to NOT be found dead out in the open, as birds often are.

bat bearing teeth

These wild victims of the H5N1 virus and those animals who feed upon them, would not be easily noticed by us and therefore would be more suitable as “mutation chambers”.

As we now know, the Bird-Flu virus has mutated already, it is now allowing limited human to human infection to take place.

I believe that it may not be a bad idea, to in fact change the name of this virus at this time, from the Bird-Flu virus, to some thing else.

 Any suggestions?

Pregnant Vietnamese Woman dies of Bird-Flu in a “Bird-Flu-Free Province”.

After repeatedly declaring many of its provinces free of Bird-flu, the Government of Vietnam has been forced to admit that H5N1 had been found in some of the Bird-Flu-free provinces.

A Country or a province in a Country is declared bird flu-free after it goes 21 consecutive days without a new case, according to the ministry.

Last week the Government of Vietnam finally informed the global community of nations, that “only three provinces are still plagued by bird flu – Dien Bien in the north, Quang Binh in the center and Dong Thap in the Mekong Delta region.”

That was of course before Bird flu has killed a Vietnamese woman who was seven months pregnant, who died in Ha Tay one of the Bird-flu-Free provinces!

She died in the Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi after being admitted from a farm in the northern province of Ha Tay, the largest poultry supplier to the country’s capital.

A doctor in Ha Tay province says there are no bird flu outbreaks in the area where she lived.

Her death brings the death toll in the country to three in less than two months.

Two people — a 20-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman — died in June of avian influenza, the first fatalities announced since November 2005.

Since May, six human cases have been reported here, three of them fatal.

This entire Bird-Flu-free and not Bird-flu-free drama has been played out by the Vietnamese Government, as if it was a Monty Python sketch.

(The following may not have taken place exactly as described below,  but as Monty Python could well have plated it. The overall effect would be the same though.)

“We have got another one!” The  Big Vietnemese Government Boss would shout “From today, at 3 PM exactly, Province number 9 is Bird-Flu-Free!”

A little later, some one would hesitantly whisper “ Sir, Bird-Flu has been found again in the province number 9″

“What! Number 9 again?”  the Big Boss official would thunder, “OK then, the ### Number 9 Province is NOT Bird-Flu-Free at this time”

“Mind you, the province number 9 is free of TB, Cholera and Malaria and many other deadly deceases. It just has a little bit of Bird-flu at this time”

And so on.

It was almost funny to see a Government behave in that way.

I say funny, but you know what I mean.

As I have been saying in this blog for a while, the World Governing bodies such as WHO were apparently OK with this nutty rule of declaring a country free of Bird-Flu, if no new cases were found for a period of 21 days.

Even worse is the rule of declaring a part of a country, such as a province to be bird flu free, if there have been no new cases of the H5N1 found in that particular province.

I ask you, since there are no custom checks or travel restrictions between provinces, how can a province be guaranteed to be free of infection, if the bordering province has H5N1 in its poultry and more importantly, in its wild birds?

The WHO folks have not replied to repeated requests for an explanation for their silence/acquiescence with this less than honest practice.

I had requested a comment from what I consider to be the two top blogs in this subject area, Effect Measure and H5N1 Croftsblogs, to comment on this mad situation.

Did not get a response from Effect Mesure.

Crawford Kilian of the H5N1 did reply.

He is a kind soul and a gentle one at that.

So while he seemed to be able to see the basic problem with the 21 day rule, he did not use his understated, but universally acknowledged authority in any way, to put pressure on the related institutions to rectify or at the very least re examine the this situation.

I would like to ask WHO and all of the great and powerful people, who had such a good time at the Pandemic flu SUMMIT, to re examine the 21 day rule for a country to be declared free of Bird-flu.

More importantly the option to declare part of a country free of Bird-flu needs to be urgently revisited.

Woman selling ducklings in Hoi An market 

Pig Disease kills People and Bird-Flu kills Ducks, In Bird-Flu-Free Vietnam!

It was only last week that Vietnam was busy declaring its provinces “Bird-Flu-Free”.

The criterion for this Bird-Flu-Free status was the completely illogical “no infection in any 21 consecutive days” rule.

How did this rule come about?

Who was responsible for this ruling?

Does the World Health Organisation agree with this totally mad criterion?

If not then why is there a deafening silence from all concerned about this rule?

Discounting the main line press and the scare mongering blogs, why no comments on this subject from the two Top bird flu blogs, Effect Measure and Crawford Kilian’s H5N1 blog?

The arbitrary 21 day ruling for a virus such as the H5N1 is nothing more than a political and commercial con trick, seemingly backed by the WHO and other such institutions. CSIRO science is being used to help protect Vietnam's pig population from disease.

In the mean time the “Bird-Flu Free Vietnam” is now rife with the H5N1 virus, “killing hundreds of ducks at a farm at the weekend” according to the Vietnam Government.

In addition to the above, two people have died in northern Vietnam from a pig disease while another virus has been killing thousands of pigs in recent weeks in the central region, government and media reports said on Monday.

On Sunday, the state-run Vietnam Television said that pig raisers in Quang Nam province had thrown hundreds of dead pigs into a local river, causing serious water pollution near the UNESCO-recognised tourist town of Hoi An.

The Pig-Disease-Free criterion (as to how many days without a new infection of the Pig-Disease would make Vietnam Pig-Disease-Free) is not known as yet.

Email inquiries regarding the Pig-Disease-Free criterion to the World Health Organisation have not received a reply.

As previously mentioned in this blog, this panic to be perceived as Bird-flu-Free, is due to the pressures from the local tourism and other commercial interests.

The idea behind the declaration of Vietnam or part of Vietnam as “Bird-flu-Free”, is really an assurance by the Government of Vietnam to the importers of poultry and other related goods from Vietnam, that there is no possibility of any contamination of its poultry with the H5N1 virus.

The same assurance is implied in this declaration by the Government of Vietnam, that it is 100% safe for you and I to bring our children to Vietnam for their holiday.


Vietnam’s president Nguyen Minh Triet

Here are links to two news items related to the above: 

India Prepares for the Bird-Flu as the Lab Results are delayed.

Konsam Gopal of the State Veterinary Department in Imphal can not say as to why the expected test results for the tissue samples from the dead poultry have not arrived in Imphal.

The eagerly awaited test results of the sera samples from the dead birds, including nasal fluid and cloacal samples which were sent to a Bhopal laboratory to be tested for among other things, the H5N1 virus had been expected today.

The Government has however decided to take no chances and has started to discuss an action plan, similar to the one followed in Maharastra, during the outbreak of avian influenza there.

In an official meeting held today at State Guest House the Director of the State Veterinary Department, Th Dorendra in the chair made serious deliberations to take up necessary action plans in case the results of the laboratory test at Bhopal turn out to be positive for the H5N1 virus.