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Thursday, March 16, 2006

H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmations And Suspects

Denmark confirmed H5N1 in a dead buzzard. That's not surprising, since buzzards eat carcasses.
Afghanistan confirmed H5N1 in six samples. No surprise and no reported human cases.

Israel is having an outbreak of some disease on a turkey farm, and is wondering whether to test a man hospitalized with pneumonia for H5N1. He is reported to have worked with chickens. That is in Haifa. Vets suspect H5N1 has killed over 1000 turkeys on another farm in the Eshkol area. Jerusalem Post cites two farms.

This article on Azerbaijan is pretty comprehensive. There are three confirmed human fatalities, two more are possible. A total of eleven human cases is suspected by WHO; testing is supposed to be proceeding:
WHO assumes that altogether 11 people have been infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus in Azerbaijan, said spokesperson Maria Cheng. Samples have been taken from the three deceased victims and their family members to send to laboratories in London for testing, she added. The international organization expects to learn the results of the tests within two weeks.

But samples were supposedly at the airport in Baku last week. Have they gone anywhere? The first lab confirmation was done by NAMRU-3. The two "tuberculosis" deaths are in the Tartar region unlike the three confirmed.

In the meantime, tests are being run on samples from a farm in Scotland at which a number of birds died. Purely routine, the authorities have said. Nothing to get your feathers ruffled about.

Dutch have decided to offer voluntary poultry vaccination against bird flu, presumably using an H5 vaccine. But since vaccination can mask the disease, Japan has already banned import of Dutch poultry products, and other countries will be following suit. The Netherlands had an HPAI outbreak of H7 in 2003. A vet involved in the killing died, and subsequent testing showed that 80 people had contracted it.

India and Myanmar have recently confirmed H5N1 outbreaks in poultry.
This article says that India has another outbreak in poultry:
In India, veterinary workers began throttling more than 70,000 birds to try to control the latest outbreak there. Hundreds of people were also tested for fever.

"There is no time for niceties. The birds have to be killed as fast as possible," said Bijay Kumar, animal husbandry commissioner of the state of Maharashtra, where bird flu resurfaced this week in backyard poultry.

The problems this has created are so severe that some Indian farmers are petitioning the government to allow them to cull their healthy birds and collect compensation. They say they have no money to feed them (people not buying chicken.)

As the ugly reality becomes clear, we can all pause to consider that this strain appears to have emerged from northern India (or S. China) during the spring migration last year. The Chinese seem to be genuinely worried about what the spring migration will offer this year, and other countries are panicking:

"Now the virus is becoming crazy. The virus is becoming unpredictable," said Noureddin Mona, the Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) representative in Beijing, referring to bird flu's rapid spread in recent weeks.

What Noureddin Mona really means is that normal control measures for poultry diseases are not working at all. Last but not least, the US banking regulatory agencies issued an interagency guidance informing banks that they should include pandemic preparations in their disaster (business continuity) plans.

Some on the left are still certain that this "Rummy flu" is a plot by the US government to subvert civil freedoms, create panic and institute tyranny. You know, the CIA, etc. Since the first outbreak of H5N1 infecting humans occurred in 1997 in Asia, that is some plot! Cheney has been a very busy bee indeed. This is not confined to our shores. See this article in The Asia Times (written by someone surnamed Bonghai, heh, heh):

No sooner are indictments being handed down to Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff of the vice president of the United States for lies and coverup regarding information used deliberately to suppress the fact the Bush administration had no "smoking gun" to prove Saddam Hussein was building a nuclear arsenal, but a new scandal is surfacing, every bit as outrageous and ultimately, likely also criminal.

The world population is being whipped into a fear frenzy by irresponsible public health officials from the US administration to the World Health Organization (WHO) to the United States Centers for Disease Control. They all warn about the imminent danger that the bird flu virus might mutate into a malicious strain that is transmissible between humans, contaminating the human species in pandemic

However, the real point of interest is the company in California which developed Tamiflu and gave the marketing rights for its patented discovery to Roche.

Tamiflu was developed and patented in 1996 by a California biotech firm, Gilead Sciences Inc. Gilead is a NASDAQ-listed stock company which prefers to maintain a low profile in the current rush to Tamiflu. That might be because of who is tied to Gilead. In 1997, before he became Pentagon chief, Donald Rumsfeld was named chairman of the board of Gilead Sciences, where he remained until early 2001 when he became defense secretary. ...

In the past six months, the global rush to buy Tamiflu has sent Gilead's stock from $35 to $47 - amounting to a windfall of at least $1 million for Rumsfeld. And now, with Gilead collecting royalties averaging 10% from Roche's sales of Tamiflu, he is poised to reap more gains for a flu panic his administration has done everything it can to promote.
So don't be too snide about the cartoon rioters. The US has its own brand of idiots, and they have a wide reach. Here's a Kos Kid on the topic. It's all an obvious plot, as GlobalResearch.ca is only too willing to explain.

I heard there are Jewish scientist working on avian flu vaccines.

It has to be a conspiracy.

You know, like flouride.
You got it! It was the Zionist-Rumsfeld-Gilead cabal. Don't encourage them. For some this passes as proof positive. If I read DU long enough it all starts making sense too....
And don't forget "This would never have happened if BusHitler hadn't stolen the election! This would never have happened if we had Gore/Kerry/Hillary in the White House!"

Give us our Magical Mommy Kiss so we can go back to sleep...
Weeeell of course Gore wouldn't have let Rumsfeld spread the bird flu by jet.

There, there. Sleep tight - don't let the bedbugs bite!
"Zionist-Rumsfeld-Gilead Cabal"?

Wasn't "Gilead" the name of the regime in The Handmaid's Tale?
Yes, I believe it was. Have you been reading DU? They've been big on the Handmaid's Tale lately.

And of course "Gilead" has biblical roots, so it's obvious that this is a long-term Zionist plot.

You think I am joking, but Yemen had an outbreak of polio because the rumor was spreading that vaccinations were a Great Satan type of thing. Even as Israel is testing Palestinian chickens to try to stop bird flu outbreaks in the Gaza strip (successful control will require control on both sides of the border), I can guarantee you that some people are running around describing it as a Zionist plot against Palestinian chickens.
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