Bird-Flu Olympic Games in Beijing?

Other than inviting the His Holiness the Dalai Lama to officiate the ceremony, China would do almost any thing to ensure the success of the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing later this year.
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The Olympic Games are to be the showcase of the new soon to be a superpower.
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Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the spectacular events and ceremonies planned by the Chinese Government for duration of the games.
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There is one little thing however, that has been causing increasing concern for the rulers of China.
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It is of course the Bird Flu virus, which seems have returned to China, its country of origin, and is randomly manifesting it self in various parts of the country, over the last year or so.
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There have been human victims of the deadly virus in China and the BirdFlu has also been found in wild birds and domestic poultry in China.
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According to the authorities in the southern Chinese special administrative region (Hong Kong) there are now reports of yet another bird, a dead oriental magpie robin, suspected to have died of the H5 bird flu virus. –                    -The dead bird was collected near the management center in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve on Friday, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said, adding that the case was subject to further confirmatory tests.

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At the same time, there have been rumors of a young girl who had apparently succumbed to the Bird Flu virus in Hong Kong.

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A local newspaper reported yesterday that the three-year-old girl ‘s death was probably caused by the deadly H5N1 strain of virus, triggering worries of possible outbreak of human-to-human bird flu pandemic.

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According to the Centre for Health Protection, the younger girl came down with fever, cough, runny nose and vomiting on Feb. 29 and consulted a private doctor on the same day. She sought medical treatment from Tuen Mun Hospital on March 1, but her condition deteriorated and she died that evening.

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Dr. Thomas Tsang the controller of the Centre for Health Protection of Hong Kong said that the six-year-old girl was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on March 2 and her three- year-old sister, who also suffered from flu-like illness symptoms, died on March 1.

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Dr. Tsang said the girl’s death was a rare occurrence and a post-mortem will be conducted yesterday.

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That is what I am worried about.

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With the Beijing Olympic Games only months away, would the Chinese authorities admit to any human fatalities resulting from the Bird Flu virus in China?

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Censorship in China is the norm rather than an exception, could it be that the Chinese Government would try and hush up any such cases and not report them to the WHO?

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I mean the Chines do not want the Beijing Olympic Games to be known as the Bird Flu Olympics do they?

Sources:

Macau Daily Times

China.org

birdflubreakingnews

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BirdFlu NewsFlashes Dec 11, 2007

Additional Bird Flu Victim Tissue Samples For Indonesia

There is yet another human death resulting from the Bird Flu virus in Indonesia.

A 28-year-old woman from the outskirts of the Indonesian capital has been confirmed as dying of bird flu, raising the toll in the nation worst affected by H5N1 to 92, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The victim, named Mutiah, lived in the satellite city of Tangerang, just west of Jakarta, where three other bird flu deaths have been reported since October.

Mutiah, who sold ornamental plants has died here with officials suspecting she may be the nation’s 92nd bird flu death, an official from the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

Two laboratory tests on the woman, who died on Monday at a hospital in Jakarta, showed that she was infected with the highly pathogenic virus, a statement from the ministry’s bird flu information centre said.

Unkind people in Indonesia are (no doubt maliciously) suggesting that the Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Supari is now boasting the largest amount of tissue samples in the world, from the Bird Flu victims, in the Indonesian Bird flu Human Tissue Bank.

http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2007/12/11/indonesian-plant-seller-suspected-of-bird-flu-death-ministry/ 

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gGA9CiE7_wp_PvqOkvdQhNtDEeyA

http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/administration/afp-news.html?id=071211174315.xz87pds3&cat=null

Bird Flu case suspected at South Korea Poultry Farm.

Here we go again!

Even though its neighbour is protected from the Bird Flu virus due to the devine powers of its dear leader, South Korea has no such protection and has once again succumbed to the killer virus.

A report today Tuesday, from Reuters (Yonhap news agency)  tells us that ducks at a poultry farm tested positive for an antibody to a bird flu virus.

There was no information on which strain of bird flu, at the farm in Paju, around 24.85 miles north of Seoul, had been identified. Results of further testing should be known in about two weeks, a local official told Yonhap news agency.

South Korea’s agriculture ministry was unable immediately to confirm the Yonhap report.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKSEO9157220071211

Bird flu outbreak reported from farm in Russia’s Rostov region

A total of 35,000 chickens have died of flu at the Gulyai-Borisovskaya farm since December 5. The farm had 500,000 chickens. Lab tests confirmed it was the bird flu.

Marina Abramchenko, a spokeswoman for the local emergencies ministry said Tuesday.

Marina Abramchenko said the birds started dying November 29 from the lethal H5N1 virus at the farm, which holds some 500,000 birds, adding that quarantine restrictions have been introduced in the area.

“We have received the preliminary results of analysis,” Abramchenko said adding that the results showed traces of the H5N1 virus.

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12169841&PageNum=0

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20071211/91905749.html

How to find the cheapest Christmas turkey in UK?

No. It is not by calling Barnard Matthews for one of his “Turkey Specials”.

It is suggested by “This is Money” (Part of the Daily Mail group) that even though the availability of organic birds in the UK has been hit, elsewhere the predictions that the price of a turkey would soar have failed to materialise.

After the recent bird flu outbreaks in the UK, there were fears that the cost of Christmas lunch could rocket this year – with Waitrose announcing it would have no organic turkeys this year. But while the availability of organic birds has been hit, elsewhere predictions that the price of a turkey would soar have failed to materialise.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/consumer/article.html?in_article_id=427456&in_page_id=5

British Lords to look in to the spread of infectious diseases

The British Lords have now decided to examine the effectiveness of action by intergovernmental organisations, to control the spread of infectious diseases.

Their Lordships are to examine how cross-border policy issues are being addressed through UK membership of intergovernmental bodies.

The Labour peer Lord Soley, Chairman of the new Committee, said:

“Infectious diseases are no respecters of national frontiers.  Much good work to prevent or control them is being done by a range of intergovernmental organisations of which the UK is a member.

“Our Committee wishes to assess how effective these efforts are proving to be and how well coordinated they are. We also want to see what intergovernmental preparations are being made to cope with emerging diseases.

“We will be focusing initially on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Avian Influenza, all of them actual or potential killers on a large scale.

Of course with the recent accusations of “Money for titles” leveled at the British Government, added to the practice of the ex Prime Minister Blair of “stuffing the House of Lords with his labour cronies”, the Noble House of Lords is considered by some, to be not as NOBLE as it once was!

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/lords_press_notices/pn101207igo.cfm

Bidflu NewsFlashes Dec 10, 2007

Bidflu NewsFlashes Dec 10, 2007

New outbreak of avian flu

Poland has announced the fourth outbreak of avian flu, this time in the central region of the country. Polish veterinary officials are in the midst of culling over one hundred thousand chickens.

H5N1 has hit the heart of Poland’s poultry region. 52 large farms and several hundred smaller ones are located in the danger zone Police  have cordoned off a three kilometer area in central Poland. They have been sparing no expense  to contain the fourth outbreak of avian flu.

Full article:

http://www.polskieradio.pl/zagranica/news/artykul71453_New_outbreak_of_avian_flu.html 

WHO – Avian Influenza – situation in China – Update 5

The Ministry of Health in China has reported a new case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus in Jiangsu Province. The case was confirmed by the national laboratory on 6 December. The 52-year old male is the father of the 24-year old man who died from H5N1 infection on 2 December 2007. He is one of the close contacts placed under medical observation by national authorities. He developed symptoms on 3 December and was sent immediately to hospital for treatment. Of the 27 cases confirmed to date in China, 17 have been fatal.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2007_12_09/en/

The Chinese Ministry ‘not optimistic’ about bird flu prevention!

It seems that the Chinese have finally decided to admit that:

A. There IS a big H5N1 problem in China

B. The Chinese authourities are not able to control it.

Here is the full article from China Daily:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-12/11/content_6311044.htm

Nigeria: Bird Flu – Health Workers Fumigate Poultry Markets Ahead of Festivals

Ahead of the Eid-el Kabir and Yuletide celebrations which are characterized by increase in poultry consumption, officials of the National Avian Influenza Control programme in Yobe State have begun the fumigation of poultry markets, stores and cages with the aim of reducing the chances of spreading avian influenza virus and associated diseases.

Here is the link:

http://allafrica.com/stories/200712100918.html

It was Not Human to Human H5N1 after all. Phew……

The Chinese Officials have confirmed that the bird flu virus that killed a man and infected his father in Jiangsu Province was a “poultry-originated virus” and cannot spread from person to person, Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said in a press conference this morning.

The H5N1 virus has not mutated according to the gene analysis of the virus, Mao said. The cause for the two infections was still being investigated, as both had no contact with poultry before becoming ill.

Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Ministry of HealthNo clinical symptoms of bird flu have been found among the 83 people who have had close contact with the two patients, the ministry confirmed.Sixty-nine people were in close contact with the first patient, and only his father has shown symptoms of bird flu. Six people who had close contact with both patients are still under close observation while 55 others have been released.

Here is the News Item from the official Chinese Site:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/health/234990.htm

A revalutionary new tool aginst the Bird Flu Virus.

Researcher tests water for evidence of bird flu

I believe that Todd M. Lickfett, a CMU graduate assistant has come up with a truly new idea in the fight against the Bird-Flu virus.

Like all good ideas, it is a simple one.

Lickfett believes he can greatly widen the scope of testing for a virus, by sampling the water where the birds congregate during migratory stopovers, instead of testing samples of the blood of individual birds!

Imagine 10,000 gulls in a pool of water, Lickfett said. The one gull you test might or might not have the virus. But if even one infected gull is in the pool, Lickfett theorizes, a sample of the contaminated water should detect it.

“Basically, it means you’ve effectively sampled all 10,000 birds in one swoop,” he said.

Similar research under way in Asia involves drinking water supplies of commercial poultry.

To test his wild bird method, Lickfett will collect water samples from sites including the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County.

Lab tests have indicated bird flu viruses can live hundreds of days at cold temperatures. Lickfett hopes to show he can reliably detect it at migration sites, even long after the flocks have left.

If so, his method could test for the deadly bird flu strain.

http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/12/researcher_tests_water_for_evi.html

Chicken Claws in China

Thanks to http://activate.us/ for the following gruesome reminder of the way chicken parts are sold in China.

With the world’s biggest poultry population and millions of backyard birds roaming free, China is at the center of the fight against bird flu.

Along with many other viruses, Bird Flu is said to have originated in China.

Here are legs, feet and claws of slaughtered chickens for sale, at a market in Baokang, central China’s Hubei province.

I do not want to sound melodramatic here, but the picture below made me imagine that millions of chickens were raising their hands to the all mighty, asking for??? 

Chicken Claws, Legs and Feet for sale in China

Sources:

http://activate.us/

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Bird-Flu Outbreak in Vaccinated Ducks Triggers Mutation Fear

An outbreak of the dreaded Bird-Flu virus is bad enough for any country, it is specially feared in China, the land of its origin.

What makes the recent outbreak of the H5N1 virus, found in the ducks in farms near Guangzhou’s Panyu district even worse, is the fact that the infected ducks had apparently been vaccinated (or at least partially vaccinated) against the H5N1 virus!

According to Guangdong Animal Epidemic Prevention Center director Yu Yedong, the 9,800 ducks that died at Sixian village had been vaccinated.

However, Yedong added that the ducks were given only the first shot of the vaccine, which is only be 65 percent effective, while a second shot would have made it 90 percent.

Even so, the outbreak in vaccinated ducks in Guangzhou, has triggered fears in Hong Kong that the Bird-Flu virus may have mutated.

Dr Ho Pak-leung, an infectious diseases expert at Hong Kong University, said there were worries the virus had mutated or the vaccine had not been effective.

Lo Wing-lok, another infectious diseases expert, called for a ban on the import of ducks from areas around Panyu.

Hong Kong Bird Watching Society chairman Cheung Ho-fai said migratory birds from Panyu are likely to carry the virus to the territory, although previous H5N1 cases in Hong Kong had been found to be unrelated to migratory birds.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it will monitor the situation and step up inspections at local poultry farms.

Hong Kong New Territories Poultry-Culture (geese and ducks) Mutual Aid Association chairman Kwok Chi-yau said the outbreak has led to a 20 to 30 percent drop in poultry sales.

 Sources:

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=12&art_id=53586&sid=15407483&con_type=1

Photo Credit  VOVNEWS

Bird-Flu goes back home to China

Guangzhou  Along with all kinds of other viruses, the Bird-Flu virus is said to have originated in China.

Now it seems that the deadly virus is back home, paying a visit to China’s southern city of Guangzhou.

According to information posted on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, the city of Guangzhou has reported that a large number of ducks have died in a village, as a result of an  outbreak of a very virulent strain of the H5N1 virus.

On September 5, farmers in Sixian village, Xinzao Township in the Panyu district of Guangzhou started to report death of their ducks, and by September 13, 9,830 ducks had been reported dead, it said.

Map showing the location of Guangzhou.

Samples of dead ducks were sent to the provincial animal disease prevention and control center, and initial lab tests showed the samples were positive with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus.

Samples have been also sent to the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory for testing and the result is yet to be announced.

Local veterinary authorities had culled about 32,630 ducks as of September 14, it said.

Sources with the provincial department of agriculture said they have sent staff to disinfect the affected area, and no further deaths of fouls have been reported in the Panyu district or nearby areas.

As the world’s largest producer of poultry, livestock and aquatic products, China has much to lose from outbreaks of animal diseases.

It is estimated that animal diseases cost China 40 billion yuan annually.

China’s top legislature last month adopted the amendment to the law on animal epidemic prevention, which requires all animal owners to comply with compulsory vaccination policies, especially owners of poultry and livestock bred in rural backyards, and pets owners in urban houses.

Sources:

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-09/15/content_6730416.htm

www.port-technology.com/…/guangzhou2.html

The Bird-Flu leadership Summit?

There was this Bird-Flu leadership Summit, recently held in America, headed by lots of Industry and Government big shots.

Of course it was by and for only the folks in the good old USA, because as you know, there is nothing of importance out side of here.

Accept that the Bird-Flu virus IS out side of the USA and it is slowly creeping from the East to the West, towards the Americas.

 Photo Kenneth Wong

I wonder if any one who was part of the above mentioned Summit, would let me know if the problem of the H5N1 entrenched in foreign lands was discussed at the Summit.

If so, has any actual action of any kind resulted from the said discussions or is any action planned in the near future?