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Monday, November 07, 2005

China And Bird Flu

What does this look like to you?
The possibility that three people were infected by the bird flu virus in Central China cannot be ruled out, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

Of the three who came down with pneumonia last month in Hunan Province, one died.

A total of 192 people who had close contact with the three or dead poultry have been put under medical observation, with only one showing "acute bronchitis," the ministry said.
China is blockading large cities, revving up their army and preparing quarantine plans for their hospitals. Here's a good discussion thread at CurEvents.com regarding this news.

One thing that continues to worry me is that there have been outbreaks of some disease usually described as foot and mouth in most of the areas that have been hit by H5N1. This excerpt from the article linked above really made me wonder:
Beijing residents have to vaccinate all animals, including pets, against the bird flu virus and foot-and-mouth disease, according to a joint statement by the Beijing Agriculture Department and Public Security Bureau on Saturday.
There is something going on we don't understand.

H5N1 sometimes causes lesions on birds or bleeding from the beak, so if you find a dead or dying bloody bird, don't assume the surf did it. All such finds should not be touched with your bare hands, but the carcasses should be collected and testing for bird flu:
More than five dozen Aleutian geese washed up on a Manila beach this week, possibly victims of pounding surf.The 62 birds and one pintail were counted by California Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Dave Lancaster.

Lancaster brought two of the geese to Humboldt State University for bacterial tests. The birds had some bruising on their lungs and bodies, indicating trauma.

Lancaster says its possible that the birds were huddled together on the ocean and may have been caught by a sneaker wave, a quickly changing surf line or a strong current, and dashed upon the shore.

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