BIRD FLU – Wild Birds or the “Factory Poultry Farms”?

BIRD FLU –  Wild Birds or the “Factory Poultry Farms”? 
 
The role of migratory birds and of poultry trade in the dispersal of highly pathogenic H5N1 is still the topic of intense and controversial debate.
 
On one side we have the mighty poultry farming sector, applying all kinds of pressure to absolve the “factory farms” from any blame for the increasing number of outbreaks of the H5N1 and other viruses.
 
From the Poultry farming sector’s point of view it is the wild birds, that bring the virus from the bird flu afflicted countries and infect the domestic poultry.
 
On the other side, we have equally passionate arguments from those who believe that it is the “factory farms” think Barnard Matthews, that are to blame for creating the un-natural conditions that result in the growth of the viruses.
 
Below is a “discussion” from the Virology Journal,  in a “provisional PDF document”:
 
 
What it is saying is that they are still talking about this and not ready to say one way or another!
 
Then there is an article from PETA, :
 
PETA warns of deadly link between Factory-Farm Filth and Bird Flu
 
Here is the article:

Bird-Flu Spreads to 60 Countries in last 3 years!

David Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator, said on Thursday that the avian influenza virus has been reported in 60 countries in the last three years.

David Nabarro, UN influenza coordinator

According to a UN-World Bank assessment on responses to avian influenza, the H5N1 virus has spread in the last three years, to East Asia and on to locations in North and West Africa, central Europe and as far as Britain.

It said the highly pathogenic HPAI virus was reported in 15 countries in 2005, and H5N1 in at least 55 countries and territories in 2006.

In six countries, including Indonesia, the virus is still enzootic, which means it is continuously present and being passed between poultry.

Additionally, “we have some major anxieties about the extent to which countries’ pandemic preparedness plans are really capable of being operationalized,” Dr. Nabarro said.

“When the pandemic strikes, viruses will not understand borders and they will spread to all countries and all people of the world will be at risk.”

The good news is, that most Goverments are able to mount an increasingly improved defence, in the event of an outbreak of the H5N1 virus.

David Nabarro, said the worldwide responses by most governments have led to improved measures to detect, contain and lessen the impact of dangerous pathogens. He warned, however, that the responses have been unequal and the risk remains that the bird flu virus could mutate into a strand easily transmitted among humans.

The bad news is that “Pathogens are becoming more mobile as a result of increases in international travel and trade, and changes in the ecosystems” according to David Nabarro.

They cause diseases that threaten the health and well being of the entire world population,” Nabaarro said. “The long-term security of the human race requires all nations to prepare together – so that when new disease outbreaks and pandemics do occur, responses will be adequate and meet the needs of all people and not just a fortunate few.”

Sources:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24848&Cr=avian&Cr1=flu

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/150455.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Supari the Amazing Indonesian Health Minister

Here is a great Q & A session with Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister, from IndCoup, a really resourceful blogger  from Jakarta.

(I found the blog on the blogs section of the www.birdflubreakingnews.com)  

The Health Minister talks about the TREE MAN, she is against Indonesians exercising, suggests that NOT smoking is more harmful than smoking and has amazing ideas about breakfast and er.. a certain part of the male anatomy!

Here is an excerpt (and the entire interview follows below):

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a bit soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. So you should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger tummy.

Q: Onto sex. What do you think of condoms?

A: Yes they are good idea – I purchased one recently in Jakarta at Sudirman Park for Rp3 billion. Not sure what they’ve got to do with sex though.

Q: No I mean condoms not condos. You know fiesta, durex and the like. But anyway do you think Indonesia is doing enough to promote condom use?

A: Doing enough to promote condom use?! Of course we are! Haven’t you ever heard of Dolly?

Q: You were quoted as saying a penis was the greatest breakfast for women. Why?

A: Because it has a mushroom head, a sausage, two eggs and cream. All the nutrients to make a woman healthy and happy.

Here is the full Interview by IndCoup:

Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari is raising a storm for playing hardball with the WHO. We’ve caught up with her and asked her a few questions…

Q: I`ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong your life. Is this true?
A: Well, your heart is only good for so many beats, and that`s it… so don`t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; I mean that`s rather like saying you can extend the expected life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Just sleep all day long like most teenage Indonesians do.
Q: Should Indonesians exercise more?
A: No. Why should they? My philosophy is: No Pain Is Good.
Q: The WHO estimates at least 25% of all deaths in Indonesia by 2020 will be due to cigarette smoking…
A: But the other 75% will be deaths from NOT smoking – clear proof that NOT smoking is more harmful than smoking.
Q: But Siti – scientists have proven that cigarettes are harmful to the health of children…
A: Fair enough, use an ashtray.
Q: The average Indonesian diet is drowning in fat. Everything seems to be fried. Your opinion?
A: Foods these days are fried in vegetable oil. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: What`s the secret to healthy eating?
A: More vegetables. Eat up your nasi goreng.
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a bit soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. So you should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger tummy.
Q: Onto sex. What do you think of condoms?
A: Yes they are good idea – I purchased one recently in Jakarta at Sudirman Park for Rp3 billion. Not sure what they’ve got to do with sex though.
Q: No I mean condoms not condos. You know fiesta, durex and the like. But anyway do you think Indonesia is doing enough to promote condom use?
A: Doing enough to promote condom use?! Of course we are! Haven’t you ever heard of Dolly?
Q: You were quoted as saying a penis was the greatest breakfast for women. Why?
A: Because it has a mushroom head, a sausage, two eggs and cream. All the nutrients to make a woman healthy and happy.
Q: Onto “Tree Man” Dede. Why won’t you let him get treatment in the US?
A: To show how much we care about him, we just so happened to appoint a team of doctors the day the story was broken on the Discovery Channel. Prior to that he had lived a peaceful life and didn’t need any help whatsoever. He was even making a good living by working as part of a local Freak Show. His ailment is a blessing and not a curse! And now you think we should allow him to get free medical treatment overseas?!! My God as if any Indonesian would want that!!! … but paying for it ourselves is okay of course … (smiles, blushes slightly)
Q: And what about WHO claims that Indonesia’s refusal to share bird flu virus samples raises the risk of a global pandemic breaking out?
A: As if these foreigners would do anything for us!
Q: Er.. aren’t you forgetting Aceh?
A: Mau minum segelas Bir Bintang mister? It’s made from vegetables you know….

 Siti Fadilah Supari

Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari

Sources:

http://indcoup.blogspot.com/2007/11/exclusive-q-session-with-siti-fadilah.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Influenza kills more people than Bird-Flu.

Bird Flu is a scary virus and I hope that we will be able to find ways to protect our selves, when (and if) it starts spreading amongst humans.

But a virus does not have to be scary to be a killer.

The not-very-scary “common” influenza virus kills tens of thousands of people (specially old people) all over the world every year.

In addition, Influenza poses serious risks for people with any kind of chronic medical conditions.

In spite of the above, many people refuse to protect them selves with a flu shot, as recommended by the medical community.

Your Shot For Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and other leading health authorities recommend annual influenza vaccination for those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and cancer, among others.

Despite these recommendations, vaccination rates among these groups remain low.

Now The American Lung Association is offering a Flu Clinic Locator.

To find a Flu Clinic in your area, enter your zip code into the Flu Clinic Locator to the right.

You will get the date, times, address, and phone number of the Clinics offering flu shots near you, as well as a map showing where the Clinic is located.

The American Lung Association updates the Locator daily, so you will always get the most up-to-date Flu Clinic information.

Here is a link for the Flu Clinic Locator for you and for your friends:

http://www.findaflushot.com/lungusa/friend.php?brand=ala

 

                          The Influenza (Flu) Virus

 Influenza Virus Structure

 

Sources:

http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.aspx?c=aqKGLXOAIlH&b=1015035

http://www.cdcfoundation.org

micro.magnet.fsu.edu/…/influenzavirus.html

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.

Sources:

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=12&art_id=53652&sid=15422261&con_type=1&d_str=20070918

Bird-Flu Rumors?

Here is a bird-flu-funny, made out of Lucy Silag’s post at the Salon.com.

Hope Lucy will forgive us for the following, but this is just the kind of a gossip conversation, concerned hens would be having these days about the dreaded Bird-Flu. 

Psst! Have you heard…?

By Lucy Silag

Third Bird-Flu Death in Bali, as Tourist Arrive in Record Numbers!

The Third Balinese Victim of the deadly Bird-Flu virus.

So soon after the death of the 29-year-old Ni Luh Putu Sri Windani and her Her five-year-old daughter Dian, Bali has yet another human victim of the Bird-Flu virus.

A 28-year-old woman died of suspected bird flu today after undergoing treatment for 36 hours at the Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar, Bali.Gan 1.000 nguoi tham gia dien tap phong chong cum
The victim, from Desa Braban, Kabupaten Tabanan here, died at an isolation ward.

Sanglah Hospital Bird Flu Eradication Chief Dr Putu Andrika said the victim was one of two patients who were treated for suspected H5N1 viral infection.

The condition of another patient, who is 58 years old, is improving but the patient is still under intensive care, he told Antara news agency.

With the latest casualty, bird flu is said to have claimed three lives in the tourist island after the death of a 29-year-old woman and her five-year-old child last Sunday.

Dr Putu however said he was still awaiting a laboratory test to confirm whether the death of the mother and her child last Sunday was due to H5N1 viral infection.

This statement from Dr Putu reported by Bernama, is a bit confusing, as all of the reports at the time had suggested that Dian, the five year old girl had been cremated soon after her death! If that is the case then were some tissue samples were taken before the said cremation?

I wish the Indonesian Government would stop trying  to act like the old Soviet regime, as far as the H5N1 infections in the country are concerned!

Tourists arrive in record numbers in Bali, as the number of human Bird-Flu infections increase!

Nothing about this Bird-Flu virus seems to be clear and simple.

Even as we hear about a further death from the H5N1 virus along with another person infected with the virus under intensive care,  in in Bali, the number of tourists arriving in the Resort Island has reached record numbers.

Preliminary foreign tourist arrival figures for July 2007 record 164,618 visitors to Bali, according to BaliDiscovery.com

The new figures represent a whopping double-digit increase of 34.9 percent ahead of the same month in 2006 and allowing July 2007 to qualify as the “best July on record” for Bali tourism.

According to Bali Discovery, January to July’s 2007 arrivals are nearing the 1 million mark, totaling 910,567, an improvement of 35 percent as compared to the same period in 2006 (674,561).

I guess they are right, when they say that the Gods always smile on this magical island!

Sources:

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news.php?id=280517

http://travelvideo.tv/news/more.php?id=12312_0_1_0_M

http://www.rambutan.org/maps/images/rc_map_bali.gif

www.birdflubreakingnews.com