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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Bird flu’ Category

Ongoing H1N1 Outbreak Cover-up in China

Posted by Author on December 7, 2009

By Fang Xiao & Gu Yunyin, Epoch Times Staff, Dec. 7, 2009-

When the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the outbreak of swine flu, some experts predicted that if swine flu combined with the avian flu in Asia, it would probably cause a genetic mixing of the swine flu and the avian flu, and the result would be very serious.

Currently, H1N1 has already spread in China, but many local officials intentionally hide the outbreak for the sake of promoting their political careers and block H1N1 tests on suspected patients.

Shanghai World Expo an Excuse to Hide the Spread of H1N1

Shanghai resident Mr. Lin told a New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) reporter that hospitals in Shanghai have all received orders from the “higher-ups” to not conduct H1N1 examinations because Shanghai will be holding the World Expo. “Presently, hospitals do not conduct H1N1 exams. Even if one goes to a hospital specializing in treating H1N1 infections, people will be treated like normal flu patients and won’t know whether they have the H1N1 virus.”

Details are also lacking in Southeast China’s Jiangxi Province. Recently a female student died of H1N1 at Lantian College in Jiangxi Province. Her classmate, Zheng, told a Sound of Hope (SOH) Radio reporter that H1N1 has spread on campus for more than a month and has caused several deaths, but it has been covered up.

“She went to the First Hospital of Nanchang University for emergency treatment, but she died. It was H1N1, but no one reports on it. We students talk about it among ourselves, and our teachers also talk about it. The school does not let the public know how serious the H1N1 outbreak is. The First Hospital of Nanchang University is designated to treat H1N1. They have treated many H1N1 patients. I heard there were hundreds.”

A daily average of 140 patients with fever visit the Nanchang City Ninth Hospital, another hospital designated to treat H1N1 patients in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province. Last week there were over 300 such patients every day, with one day having 350 patients with fever. When there are more flu patients, there are also more H1N1 patients, according to a report on Dec. 3 by Information Daily.

One staff member of the Nanchang City Ninth Hospital told an Epoch Times reporter that although this hospital is designated to treat H1N1 patients, it does not have the authority to confirm the diagnosis of H1N1. “Currently we indeed have a relatively high number of H1N1 patients. We also have many more who are hospitalized. In Nanchang City, only the municipal Disease Control Center (DCC) and the provincial DCC can confirm the diagnosis of H1N1. No hospital can confirm [H1N1 cases].”

Cases Go Unreported

In Weihai City, Shandong Province of Northeast China, a staff member of a hospital told a reporter that she contracted H1N1. She recovered, but the hospital did not include her case in the reported number of H1N1 infections.

She said that at least 200 patients came to her hospital and 90 percent of them are H1N1 patients. “These cases cannot possibly have been reported.

“The first day I had a fever of 101° F. The second day my temperature was as high as 104° F, and it lasted for four to five days. I went to the hospital. I was diagnosed with H1N1. Later, when I recovered, I found out that my case was not reported.

“Health bureaus in some areas do not try to diagnose serious pneumonia patients. There is an unspoken rule that a high H1N1 death toll indicates poor disease control.”

Deaths From Vaccine Reactions

The Chinese regime has reported that only four people have died after receiving H1N1 vaccine injections.

On Nov. 25, the Health Bureau of Gansu Province in North China reported that 114 people had shown abnormal reactions after receiving the H1N1 vaccine injections from the first batch of vaccines. An Epoch Times reporter called the Health Bureau of Gansu Province to ask for the causes of the abnormal reactions.

A staff member at the Immune Programming Division of the Lanzhou City (capital of Gansu Province) DCC avoided the reporter’s question. When asked about the vaccine, he said: “The second batch of vaccines is safe and effective. You can get the information from the Web site of the Health Bureau.” The reporter continued to ask: “What is the difference between the second batch and the first batch? Why do you say it is safe and effective?” The staff member said: “Why do you ask this question?” and then hung up the phone.

The Health Bureau of Gansu Province reported the latest death toll from H1N1 infections was 10 people, but they did not give any detailed information about the fatalities.

When asked by the reporter about the true death toll, the staff member of the Gansu Province DCC said that he does not have the authority to release this information. He said that most deaths are from middle-aged people. A municipal DCC staff member stated that only the provincial Health Bureau has the authority to release the information about H1N1.

In 2003, during the SARS epidemic, Chinese Communist authorities, in order to pursue economic development, pressured local officials about the “control” of the epidemic and told those officials that they would be dismissed from their positions if SARS infections occurred in their area. As a result, the reported number of SARS was zero for each locale.

Zhong Nanshan, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases in China’s Southern Guangdong Province, expressed his concern about the reassortment (genetic mixing) of H1N1, the virus that causes swine flu, and H5N1, the virus that causes avian flu. He said, “Inside China, H5N1 has been existing for some time, so if there is really a reassortment between H1N1 and H5N1, it will be a disaster.

“This is something we need to monitor—the mutation of the virus. This is why reporting the death rate must be really transparent,” according to an interview with Reuters Television.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Bird flu, China, East China, Health, Life, News, shanghai, Social, World | Comments Off on Ongoing H1N1 Outbreak Cover-up in China

China swine flu death toll triples in two weeks

Posted by Author on December 2, 2009

AFP, Dec. 2, 2009-

BEIJING — China’s official swine flu death toll has tripled in the past two weeks after the government ordered more accurate reporting of fatalities amid suspicions of a cover-up.

A statement posted on the health ministry’s website late Tuesday said the number of people reported killed by the influenza A(H1N1) virus had jumped to 178 at the weekend, up from a previously reported nationwide tally of 53.

The statement gave no reason for the sharp increase but it comes after the ministry on November 19 ordered more transparent reporting following comments by a renowned medical whistleblower who questioned official tallies.

The statement noted that “the number of severe cases and deaths continues to rise.”

“The epidemic situation in our nation remains grim,” it said.

Despite reporting tens of thousands of confirmed A(H1N1) cases in China since the virus first emerged this spring in North America, the reported death rate here has remained far below that of other countries.

Cover-up suspicions were fuelled last month when medical expert Zhong Nanshan was quoted by a Chinese newspaper saying he suspected authorities in some areas were under-reporting fatalities to convince superiors they were containing the virus.

Zhong’s opinion carries weight after he earned wide respect in 2003 for defying the official line on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak to help reveal the true extent of the illness.

The government had initially tried to hide the SARS outbreak and only owned up after it began to spill over into other countries.

The health ministry order for better reporting came shortly after Zhong’s comments were published.

Chinese officials including Health Minister Chen Zhu have warned repeatedly in recent months that China was likely to see a sharp increase in overall cases of swine flu and deaths during the winter, when flu is most virulent.

Tuesday’s health ministry statistical statement said more than 91,000 people had been confirmed to have contracted the virus in China, the vast majority of whom had already recovered.


Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, News, Plague, World | 3 Comments »

Lhasa Fears Swine Flu, China officials decline to give infection figures

Posted by Author on October 17, 2009

Radio Free Asia, Oct. 16, 2009-

HONG KONG—Residents of the Tibetan capital Lhasa say they fear a spike in infections with H1N1 influenza, while Chinese officials decline to give infection figures.

“This disease has become very serious. Most of the victims are students,” said one Tibetan man living in Lhasa.

“The leadership seems to have been more engrossed in celebrations of the 60th anniversary, and they seem to be underplaying the seriousness of the epidemic,” he said, referring to nationwide celebrations of Communist Party rule on Oct. 1.

China announced its first swine flu death in the Tibetan region last week.

The victim was an 18 year-old Tibetan woman who had been hospitalized in Lhasa the week before with severe symptoms.

Officials have sent 200,000 doses of influenza A (H1N1) vaccine to the region since, according to a statement on the Health Ministry’s Web site.

No outreach

But residents say that so far there have been no Tibetan-language programs on radio or television to educate the population on how to prevent swine flu, which was declared a pandemic in June.

Another Tibetan man said that the local swine flu infection rate is considered “very high” by Lhasa residents.

“The number of people arriving on trains from different parts of China is increasing, and there are huge concentrations of people at railway stations and other places where people gather. The chance of getting infected is extremely high,” he said.

“It is very serious in the Lhasa area, but the authorities are trying to underplay the spread of this disease.”…… (more details from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Lasa, Life, News, SW China, Tibet, World, Xizang | 1 Comment »

China bird flu effort in question after new cases

Posted by Author on March 16, 2009

AFP, Mar.14, 2009-

HONG KONG (AFP) — A probe into an outbreak of bird flu at a Hong Kong chicken farm and carcasses popping up in city waters have raised questions over whether the H5N1 virus is going undetected in southern China.

The report released this month said wild birds were the most likely carriers of the virus that broke out in December on a farm close to the territory’s border with the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, prompting the culling of 90,000 chickens.

While the authors could not say for certain where in Asia the wild bird may have contracted H5N1, the report said the specific version of the virus was the same as that “currently circulating among poultry in southern China”.

The report came days after two dead chickens with H5N1 were found floating in the sea off Hong Kong, the latest of more than a dozen chickens, ducks and other birds to wash up along the city’s coastline since the start of year.

“From the various investigations we have done (the washed-up carcasses) are most likely drifting down from the Pearl River,” Hong Kong’s health secretary York Chow said in early February.

Hong Kong sits at the southern tip of a Guangdong’s large Pearl River delta.

Malik Peiris, a virologist at Hong Kong University and one of the world’s leading bird flu researchers, said he agreed with Chow’s assessment.

“It is not really plausible that they came from Hong Kong,” he told AFP.

While Hong Kong has publicly confirmed 15 bird flu cases this year in addition to the December outbreak on the poultry farm, Guangdong has posted no bird flu findings since June 2008.

“Up to now we have no explanation as to why (bird carcasses have appeared), from the mainland authorities. This is a cause for concern,” said Lo Wing-lok, a member of Hong Kong’s government scientific committee on emerging diseases.

Peter Cordingley, the Asia-Pacific spokesman for the World Health Organisation, said the appearance of the dead birds was an issue of concern.

“From a public health point of view we are concerned about South China,” he said, adding that Hong Kong’s surveillance systems for outbreaks in humans and poultry was the “international gold standard”.

A spokesman for China’s health ministry declined to comment.

In early February, a grey heron was found dead in boggy water at the Mai Po nature reserve within sight of the border.

The heron tested positive for H5N1, the first at the reserve since testing began in 2003, shifting the focus onto the role of wild birds in the spread of the disease.

This was reinforced by the poultry outbreak investigation that found wild birds the “most likely” carrier.

But most experts believe wild birds cannot explain the prevalence of the disease in the region.

“The wild birds are more like canaries in a coal mine (for infected poultry),” said Martin Williams, a bird expert and environmental activist.

Peiris said that although the role of wild birds in the spread of the virus needed to be studied, intensive farming should be the main focus.

“Poultry production and the movement of poultry are probably far more important as the route of the maintenance and dissemination of these viruses,” said Peiris.

Scientists are concerned that poultry farms act as an ideal breeding ground for the virus to mutate as so many carriers are in close proximity.

H5N1 has killed more than 250 people worldwide since 2003 — and also led to the culling of millions of chickens — but scientists’ deepest fear is that a pandemic killing millions could be triggered if the virus mutated to become easily transferable between humans.

And so any outbreak must be reported quickly.

“Controlling the poultry outbreak, I would say, is the most important element in the overall control of H5N1,” said Lo.

While no H5N1 reports have come out of Guangdong this year, eight people elsewhere in the mainland are known to have caught the virus, and five of them have died.

Seven of the eight had known close contact with poultry, but despite extensive testing — praised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation — only one poultry outbreak has been found, in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

“Human cases have become increasingly difficult not to report,” Lo said.

However “we always ask the question, when human cases are reported, where is the source of the infection?”


Posted in Asia, Bird flu, China, Health, Hong kong, Life, News, Social, South China, World | Comments Off on China bird flu effort in question after new cases

Bird flu outbreak in North-west China

Posted by Author on February 11, 2009

AFP, Feb. 11, 2009-

BEIJING (AFP) — China has reported its first bird flu outbreak among poultry this year, with thousands of fowl destroyed in the nation’s far northwest to prevent an epidemic.

The alert was raised after 519 fowl died in the Xinjiang region that borders Central Asia, the agriculture ministry said in a statement posted on its website late on Tuesday.

They were confirmed on Tuesday to have died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu that is responsible for killing about 250 people around the world since 2003.

Emergency measures were introduced in Xinjiang, which included killing 13,000 more fowl, the ministry said, without specifying if the animals were chickens or other types of poultry.

The ministry said the situation was under control. Officials at the ministry’s media department were unavailable on Wednesday to comment further.

China previously reported that eight people were infected with bird flu across the country this year, five of whom died.

However until Tuesday, authorities said no outbreaks of bird flu had been detected in poultry, raising questions as to how people contracted the disease.

Experts fear the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, rather than from poultry to humans, with the potential to kill millions in a pandemic.

But there has been no evidence yet of this happening.

The fourth person to die of bird flu in China this year, a 31-year-old woman, was living in a city neighbouring Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi and contracted the disease on January 10, officials said previously.

However the outbreak among poultry reported on Tuesday was in Moyu county, about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) away, indicating no obvious connection.

Twenty-five people have died from bird flu in China since the disease re-emerged in 2003, according to World Health Organisation figures.


Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, News, NW China, Plague, World, Xinjiang | Comments Off on Bird flu outbreak in North-west China

Bird flu poultry outbreaks in China possible: UN

Posted by Author on February 4, 2009

AFP, Feb. 4, 2009-

BEIJING (AFP) — China may have experienced outbreaks of bird flu among poultry recently, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation said Wednesday, even though the government had yet to report any cases this year.

The FAO’s comments come after eight people contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus in China this year — five of whom died — compared with just three cases in all of 2008.

“There must have been some virus circulation or possibly some outbreaks lately,” Vincent Martin, senior technical adviser on bird flu for the FAO in China, told AFP.

But he said the FAO had received no reports of bird flu cases in poultry from the agriculture ministry since December, when an outbreak occurred in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

“There must be some suspicions of the disease reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, and some of those suspicions might have come up positive,” he said.

“We are waiting to receive some reports describing the overall epidemiological situation and the results of investigations.”

The number of cases in China this year has aroused some public concern, although the World Health Organisation has said the overall situation is “within expectations at this time of the year.”

Cold weather encourages the spread of the virus, and the Lunar New Year holiday — a risky period when hundreds of millions of people move across the nation to see relatives and eat meals that include poultry — has just ended.

But Martin said the pattern this year was unusual.

“There are more cases than last year, including in places where the disease was not reported before like in Jiangsu province (poultry outbreak) or Shandong province (human case),” he said.

Lo Wing-lok, an infectious disease expert in Hong Kong, said that if no poultry outbreak in China was accompanying the current human cases, the latter could have been triggered by a mutation in the H5N1 virus.

“Maybe the virus has been changing, so that it becomes a more easily transmittable virus between bird and man,” he said.

Experts fear the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to kill millions in a pandemic, but there has been no evidence yet of this happening.

So far, 25 people have died from avian influenza in China since the disease re-emerged in 2003, according to World Health Organisation figures.


Posted in Bird flu, China, disaster, Health, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Bird flu poultry outbreaks in China possible: UN

China reports fifth bird flu death this month

Posted by Author on January 27, 2009

Reuters, Jan 26, 2009 –

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Ministry of Health said a young man had died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu Monday, the fifth reported death this month.

The 18-year-old was admitted to hospital on Jan 24 in Yulin, in the southwestern Guangxi, bordering Vietnam, after falling ill and entering a local clinic in the town of Beiliu three days earlier.

He had contact with dead poultry before falling ill, the Ministry said, adding that people who have been in contact with him have not shown any signs of the illness.

In December, the Ministry of Agriculture reported positive results during routine tests for bird flu among poultry in Jiangsu province, but has not reported an outbreak among poultry for months.

The H5N1 flu remains largely a virus among birds, but experts fear it could mutate into a form that is easily transmitted by humans and spark a pandemic that could kill millions worldwide.

Since the H5N1 virus resurfaced in Asia in 2003 it has infected 399 people worldwide and killed 252 of them, according to World Health Organization data Saturday.

The bird flu deaths in China in January have been scattered across the country in areas where there has been no known outbreak of bird flu among poultry, raising concerns among scientists that the virus may be present but masked by widespread vaccination.

Another victim, a 29-year old man in Guizhou province, is in stable condition, the Xinhua news agency said Monday, while a two-year old girl in a Shanxi hospital is now recovering.


Posted in Bird flu, China, Guangxi, Health, News, South China, World | Comments Off on China reports fifth bird flu death this month

3rd bird flu death in China this month

Posted by Author on January 22, 2009

BBC News, 20 January 2009 –

A Chinese health expert has said that the country is likely to experience an upsurge in the number of human bird flu cases in the next month or two.

Shu Yuelong, from the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said China needed to work harder at preventing bird flu outbreaks.

The warning came after the health ministry said a 16-year-old boy had died in central Hunan province.

The human form of bird flu has now claimed three lives this year.

An earlier BBC report said Mr Shu had suggested that China risked an epidemic in the next few months, but it later became clear that he was referring to an increased risk of an epidemic occurring.

New Year exodus

The BBC’s Beijing correspondent Quentin Sommerville reports that winter and spring are prime bird flu seasons, when more than 70% of cases occur.

Millions of Chinese people are heading home for Chinese New Year, increasing the chances of infection, he says, and in spring, migratory birds carry the virus over great distances.

On Monday, the authorities announced that a woman in eastern Shandong province had died from bird flu.

And two weeks ago, a 19-year-old woman died in Beijing after handling ducks.

Meanwhile, a two-year-old toddler reported to have been in critical condition with the H5N1 virus has now recovered and is described as “stable”.

Chinese and Hong Kong media have been reporting that the toddler’s mother had died this month after exhibiting symptoms similar to bird flu, but her death has not been officially blamed on bird flu. …… (more details from BBC News)

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, News, People, World | 1 Comment »

New death from bird flu in China

Posted by Author on January 19, 2009

BBC News, Jan 19, 2008-

A Chinese woman has died from bird flu in the eastern Shandong province, state media has said.

It says Ms Zhang, aged 27, died at the weekend after becoming infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

It is the second reported death from bird flu in China this year. Two weeks ago, a 19-year-old woman died in Beijing after handling ducks.

The latest death was announced the day after the infection of a two-year old with bird flu in Hunan was reported.

The three new cases are the first to be reported in China in almost a year.

The toddler is now in hospital in her home province of Shanxi and all those who had been in contact with her are being watched.

The toll from bird flu in China is now reported by state media as 22 since 2003.

China’s ministry of agriculture said on Sunday that no bird flu epidemics were detected in Shanxi and Henan provinces after the two-year-old’s infection was confirmed.

Grim threat

The ministry said China now faces “a grim situation” in bird flu prevention, threatened by frequent outbreaks in neighbouring countries, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

Other threats came from brisk poultry trade ahead of the Spring Festival and difficulties in taking prevention measures at loosely managed household farms, it said.

Bird flu often resurges in the winter months in China, but not every case is fatal.

China has the world’s biggest poultry population and is seen as critical in the fight to contain H5N1, which resurfaced in Asia in 2003, killing at least 247 people.

H5N1 does not transmit easily to humans but experts fear it could mutate and cause a worldwide pandemic.

BBC News

Posted in Bird flu, China, East China, Health, Life, News, People, Shandong, Women, World | 1 Comment »

China confirms bird flu death of Beijing woman-WHO

Posted by Author on January 9, 2009

Reuters, Jan 6, 2009 –

Jan 6 (Reuters) – China’s health ministry has confirmed that a 19-year-old woman died of the H5N1 bird flu virus in Beijing, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

China recorded three bird flu cases last year, all fatal. The bird flu virus is constantly mutating, and experts fear it could change into a form that is easily transmitted from person to person and kill millions of people worldwide.

At present, H5N1 remains mainly a bird virus, but WHO data released in mid-December showed 247 people had died from it out of 391 cases since the virus resurfaced in Asia in 2003.

“We received confirmation of the case from the Chinese health ministry. A 19-year-old woman died on Monday in Beijing of H5N1,” WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said in Geneva. He had no further information………. (Reuters)

Posted in Bird flu, Central China, China, Health, Henan, Life, News, People, World | Comments Off on China confirms bird flu death of Beijing woman-WHO

China Culls 377,000 poultry in East China After Finding Bird Flu

Posted by Author on December 18, 2008

By Lee Spears, The Bloomberg, Dec. 16, 2008 –

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — China culled 377,000 poultry in eastern Jiangsu province after finding the H5N1 strain of the avian-flu virus in chickens in the area, the Ministry of Agriculture said on its Web site.

The virus was found in poultry being raised in Dongtai city and Hai’an County, both in Jiangsu, the ministry said. There was no outbreak of the virus in the region, the statement said.

The areas where the poultry were raised have been disinfected, other poultry have been placed under quarantine, and transport of all poultry from the two areas has been halted, the statement said. Experts have been dispatched to the affected areas to survey the situation, it said.

Contact with migratory birds carrying the virus is one possible cause of infection in the poultry, the statement said. The announcement comes after dead chickens in Hong Kong last week tested positive for the H5N1 strain, and India culled more than 250,000 birds in its northeast to contain an outbreak.

At least 387 people in 15 countries have been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian-flu virus since 2003, according to the Geneva-based World Health Organization. Almost two of every three cases were fatal. China has had 30 bird-flu cases in humans and 20 deaths since December 2003, according to WHO.

THE Bloomberg

Posted in Bird flu, China, East China, Health, Jiangsu, News, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Bird flu found at Hong Kong farm, 80,000 chickens to be killed

Posted by Author on December 10, 2008

AFP, Dec. 9, 2008-

HONG KONG (AFP) — More than 80,000 chickens will be slaughtered in Hong Kong after bird flu was found on a poultry farm, the first outbreak at a farm here in nearly six years, health authorities said Tuesday.

“We have discovered up to 60 dead chickens in that farm. After a series of tests we have confirmed this morning that the chickens did die from the H5 virus,” health secretary York Chow told reporters.

A health department spokeswoman said further tests were needed to determine if it was the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus, which has killed about 250 people worldwide since late 2003.

Chow said the outbreak was discovered after a dead chicken had been reported on Monday at the farm in the New Territories area of Hong Kong, near the border with China.

All chickens within a three-kilometre (1.9-mile) radius of the farm would be slaughtered, he said.

Chow said it was the first outbreak at a farm in Hong Kong since early 2003, and that he had raised the avian flu alert level in the city to “serious”.

Local farms would be barred from selling chickens and eggs for 21 days and imports of chickens would be banned for the same period, Chow said.

All live chickens at one of the city’s major wholesale markets, Cheung Sha Wan, would also be slaughtered.

The owner of the affected farm, surnamed Wong, told local broadcaster Cable TV that the chicken deaths had not been sudden.

“The chickens did not die in large numbers. They died one by one,” he said.

Hong Kong was the scene of the world’s first reported major H5N1 bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died.

Infectious disease expert Lo Wing-lok said the outbreak could evolve into a crisis if the authorities failed to locate the source of the virus soon.

“It is a serious outbreak because we are not just talking about the death of one or two wild birds as happened over the last few years. The outbreak took place in a licensed farm and involved a much larger number of chickens,” Lo told AFP.

“The authorities must locate the root of the outbreak and watch out for possible human infection cases in the next couple of weeks. Otherwise, the outbreak can evolve into a crisis.”

Lo said the outbreak also brought the bird flu vaccine into question, as some of the infected chickens were vaccinated.

“This also makes us wonder whether the other vaccinated chickens in Hong Kong are also infected,” he said, adding that the virus might have already mutated……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Hong kong, Life, News, World | Comments Off on Bird flu found at Hong Kong farm, 80,000 chickens to be killed

China: Deadly Bird Flu Detected in Hong Kong

Posted by Author on June 12, 2008

By Edward Cody, Washington Post Foreign Service, Wednesday, June 11, 2008-

BEIJING, June 11 — Hong Kong authorities announced Wednesday that they planned to kill all poultry in the territory’s retail markets because of fears of a dangerous bird flu outbreak.

Health officials said they detected the deadly H5N1 virus last week in chickens at a stall in the Kowloon area and slaughtered about 2,700 animals in that neighborhood to prevent its spread. But more cases were uncovered this week at four markets in the New Territories and Hong Kong island, leading to the order to get rid of all remaining live poultry in retail markets, stalls and stores.

The order does not affect sales of pre-slaughtered poultry sold packaged in supermarkets, as is common in much of the world. But Hong Kong residents have a long tradition of buying live chickens and readying them for the kitchen at home.

No humans are known to have been infected in the current outbreak, the officials said. But Hong Kong, a densely populated city of 7 million, has been particularly sensitive about contagious diseases since the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, epidemic broke out in 2003. …… (more details from Washington Post)

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Hong kong, Life, News, World | 2 Comments »

China Reports New Bird Flu Outbreak in Guangzhou City

Posted by Author on March 17, 2008

Reuters, Mar. 16, 2008-

BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) – China has reported a bird flu outbreak at a poultry market in the southern city of Guangzhou, state media said on Sunday, prompting neighbouring Hong Kong to suspend live poultry imports from the region.

The outbreak, which was first noticed on March 13 at a poultry market in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, killed 108 birds and triggered the culling of another 518, Xinhua news agency said, citing the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The outbreak has been effectively controlled,” Xinhua said.

It occurred as authorities in Hong Kong, which borders Guangdong to the south, closed kindergartens and primary schools for two weeks to contain a seasonal flu outbreak.

A top Chinese doctor last week said the H5N1 bird flu virus was mutating, and urged vigilance at a time when seasonal human influenza is at a peak.

Experts fear seasonal flu could get mixed up with a deadly novel strain, such as H5N1, and trigger a pandemic killing millions.

Health authorities in Hong Kong said on Sunday they would ban live poultry imports from the infected area.

“Upon confirmation of the case, the government will … (suspend) the import of live birds, live poultry and poultry products from the zone of 13 kilometres (8 miles) radius from the infected area for 21 days,” a spokesman from Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau said.

Although there have been only 372 known human infections worldwide since 2003, the virus’s mortality rate is worryingly high. At least 235 people have died from the virus, according to World Health Organisation data.

Of 30 human bird flu cases in China, 20 have died, including three this year.

With the world’s biggest poultry population and millions of backyard birds, China is considered crucial in the fight against the disease. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Beijing and Alison Leung in Hong Kong; Editing by Charles Dick)

– Original report from Reuters: China reports new bird flu outbreak

Posted in Asia, Bird flu, Business, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Health, News, SE China, World | 1 Comment »

China Reports Bird Flu Outbreak in Tibet, Human Death

Posted by Author on February 21, 2008

AFP, Feb. 19, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — Chinese authorities on Tuesday reported a fresh bird flu outbreak among poultry in Tibet, a day after confirming a 22-year-old man in central China had died of the deadly virus.

The agriculture ministry said 132 poultry had died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in a village outside the regional capital Lhasa and about 7,700 birds had been slaughtered to bring the outbreak under control.

It was the second outbreak of bird flu in the Himalayan region this year.

In January, about 1,000 birds died and 13,000 were slaughtered during an earlier outbreak in Gongga county, which lies about 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Lhasa.

News of the latest outbreak, posted on the agriculture ministry’s website, came shortly after Chinese authorities announced the country’s 18th confirmed human bird flu fatality.

The health ministry late Monday confirmed that a 22-year-old man from Hunan province had died from the H5N1 strain.

The man, surnamed Li, developed a fever and headache on January 16 and was hospitalised on January 22. But his condition worsened and he died two days later, according to a statement posted on the health ministry’s website.

China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said he had tested positive for the H5N1 strain. The ministry did not say how he might have contracted the disease……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Lasa, Life, News, SW China, Tibet, World | Comments Off on China Reports Bird Flu Outbreak in Tibet, Human Death

China Says 22-Year Old Man Died of Bird Flu

Posted by Author on February 18, 2008

By VOA News, 18 February 2008-

China’s Health Ministry says a 22-year old man from the central Chinese province of Hunan has died of bird flu.

In a statement Monday posted on its Web site, the Health Ministry says the man first showed symptoms of the disease in mid-January and died more than a week later on January 24.

Health officials say samples taken from the man confirm that he had the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. The ministry says that individuals who came into contact with him were under close supervision and reported no signs that the disease was spreading.

The statement did not say how the man contracted the disease or why it has taken nearly four weeks for news of his death to reach the public.

Not including today’s reported death, the World Health Organization says 27 people in China have already died from the deadly H5N1 strain of disease since 2003.

Since then, the disease has claimed 227 lives worldwide, most of them in Asia. Most bird flu cases involve close contact with infected poultry.

China was heavily criticized for its cover-up of the outbreak of SARS, (severe acute respiratory syndrome) pandemic which started in southern China in late 2002 and killed more than 700 people worldwide.

Original report from VOA News

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Hunan, Life, News, South China, World | Comments Off on China Says 22-Year Old Man Died of Bird Flu

Man dies of bird flu in China: report

Posted by Author on December 4, 2007

AFP, Dec. 2, 2007-

BEIJING (AFP) — A man in east China died of bird flu Sunday, the country’s 17th fatality from the H5N1 virus, state media reported.

The 24-year-old man was hospitalised last Tuesday after being diagnosed with pneumonia, Xinhua news agency reported early Monday, citing the Jiangsu provincial health department.

The man’s condition deteriorated in hospital and he died on Sunday, it said……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Jiangsu, News, People, SE China, World, Youth | 1 Comment »

Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu Outbreak In China Kills 9,830 Ducks In 9 Days

Posted by Author on September 16, 2007

Highly pathogenic H5N1 virus break out in southeast China city Guangzhou- 9,830 ducks killed by the virus in the district of Panyu between September 5 and 13, 33,000 ducks culled by authorities to contain the outbreak. Reported by Reuters and AFP.

The virus can be transmitted to humans. Scientists fear the bird flu virus could mutate into a form that could pass easily from person to person, sparking a global pandemic.

Posted in Bird flu, China, disaster, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Health, Life, News, Plague, SE China, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Dead Magpie Found to Have Bird Flu Virus in Hong Kong

Posted by Author on June 10, 2007, Fri, 08 Jun 2007-

Hong Kong – A dead magpie found in a busy urban area of Hong Kong has tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus, government officials confirmed Friday. The bird, found last week in Shatin in the New Territories, is the 17th wild bird to have been found dead in Hong Kong with the virus this year.

Migratory birds have been blamed for the spread of the deadly virus which, according to the World Health Organization, has killed 189 people worldwide since 2003.

Hong Kong has stayed free of any human cases of H5N1 since 1997 when the virus jumped the species barrier and infected 18 people, killing six.

The outbreak prompted the government to put in place stringent controls and precautionary measures which included regular clean up days at poultry markets and controls on imports.

The World Health Organization claims the H5N1 virus has infected 310 people in 12 countries in Asia and Africa since 2003. Of these 25 infections and 16 deaths have been in mainland China.

original report

Posted in Asia, Bird flu, China, Health, Hong kong, News | Comments Off on Dead Magpie Found to Have Bird Flu Virus in Hong Kong

China Reports Soldier Died of Bird Flu – WHO

Posted by Author on June 4, 2007

3 days ago ago we learned that China begun to  share human bird flu samples with WHO for the first time in more than a year. Today, the 16th death from bird flu in China was reported, siad WHO.

Here’s the report from  Reuters:

GENEVA, June 4 (Reuters) – A Chinese soldier has died from bird flu, taking the death toll in the world’s most populous country to 16, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.

The United Nations health agency quoted China’s Ministry of Health as saying that the 19-year-old male soldier, who was serving in the southeastern province of Fujian, died on June 3.

The soldier, surnamed Cheng, was diagnosed with the H5N1 virus on May 18 and had been receiving treatment at a military hospital.

–  Human Case of Bird Flu Comfirmed In China Military, 26th May 2007

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Life, military, News, SE China, World | Comments Off on China Reports Soldier Died of Bird Flu – WHO

Human Case of Bird Flu Comfirmed In China Military

Posted by Author on May 26, 2007

Reuters, 26 May 2007-

SHANGHAI, May 26 (Reuters) – A Chinese soldier has contracted the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the latest human case in the world’s most populous country, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The 19-year-old soldier surnamed Cheng was diagnosed with the disease on May 18th and is receiving treatment at a military hospital, the ministry said in a statement.

The case has received high attention from China’s cabinet and military leaders, who have urged authorities to keep a close eye on people who had close contact with Cheng.

China’s most recent reported human death from bird flu was in March. Worldwide, the virus has killed 186 people since 2003, including 15 in China, according to the World Health Organisation.

China has millions of backyard birds and a strained rural medical system that is seen as key in the fight against bird flu.

Last weekend, China confirmed an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus among poultry in the central province of Hunan, but no cases of human infection in the area hit.

The Health Ministry said on Saturday that it had reported the latest human bird flu case to the WHO as well as authorities in Hong Kong, Macau and a number of countries.

original report from Reuters

Posted in Bird flu, China, Health, Life, military, News | 1 Comment »

China Confirms Bird Flu Outbreak – 11,000 Poultry Died

Posted by Author on May 21, 2007

BBC News, 19 May 2007-

China has confirmed a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in the central province of Hunan, state media has reported.

More than 11,000 poultry died of the virus in Shijiping village near Yiyang city, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Some 53,000 birds have since been culled and officials say that the outbreak is now under control.

China’s last reported case was in March, when chickens died at a poultry market near the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

There were no reports of human infection in the latest outbreak.

A total of 15 people have died in China from the H5N1 virus and millions of birds have been culled.

Officials are working to vaccinate billions of domestic poultry by the end of May in preparation for the northward migration of wild birds in the summer, Xinhua news agency has said.

Since the H5N1 virus emerged in South East Asia in late 2003, it has claimed more than 180 lives around the world. Indonesia has been hardest hit, with more than 70 deaths.

Scientists fear the virus could mutate to a form which could be easily passed from human to human, triggering a pandemic and potentially putting millions of lives at risk.

original report

Posted in animal, Bird flu, Central China, China, Health, News, World | Comments Off on China Confirms Bird Flu Outbreak – 11,000 Poultry Died

China Is Source of Bird Flu Virus, Study Shows

Posted by Author on March 5, 2007

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters, 05 Mar 2007-

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) – China’s southern Guangdong Province is the source of the dangerous H5N1 avian flu virus, according to a genetic analysis of the virus published on Monday.

And Guangdong appears to be the source of renewed waves of the H5N1 strain, which has killed or forced the destruction of hundreds of millions of birds, the team at the University of California Irvine reported.

“We show that the Chinese province of Guangdong is the source of multiple H5N1 strains spreading at both regional and international scales,” the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It is probably still originating there and spreading,” Walter Fitch, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology who worked on the study, said in a telephone interview. “If you can control the virus at its source, you can control it more efficiently,” Fitch added in a statement.

“With a road map of where the strain has migrated, you’re more likely to isolate the strain that you should be using to make the vaccine.”

Since 2003, H5N1 has spread to more than 50 countries as far away from China as Nigeria and Britain.

The real fear is that the virus could mutate into a form that people can easily pass from one to another and spark a pandemic. So far it has infected 277 people and killed 167 of them, according to the World Health Organization.

The researchers looked at samples of the virus taken from across China and as far west as Russia. They also looked at the the genetic sequences of virus samples placed in GenBank, a public access database of genetic information.

Fitch’s team constructed a “family tree” for the virus, which mutates quickly. They looked specifically at two proteins, called hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, the “H” and “N” in a flu strain’s name.


They show the basic version of the virus is a form seen in Guangdong again and again. “It seems to be seeding multiple outbreaks both from within China and elsewhere. That is the primary epicenter. Now there are secondary epicenters, as well, that have caught on fire,” said Robert Wallace, a postdoctoral researcher who led the study.

The researchers’ maps show China’s northwest Qinghai Province to be another source of bird flu’s spread.

The study has practical value, Wallace said in a telephone interview. For instance, neighboring countries can carefully watch imports from southern China and can make bird vaccines that match the Chinese strain of H5N1.

“Certainly the Chinese can investigate what is going on in Guangdong and if their (poultry) plants there contribute to those strains, they could so something to intervene,” Wallace added.

In contrast to China, the researchers found that Indochina — Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam — appeared to absorb strains of the virus. They said H5N1 spreads there but does not spread from there to anywhere else.

Both Fitch and Wallace said the study demonstrates why it is important for countries to share samples of the virus from within their borders with the scientific community.

original report from  Reuters

Posted in Asia, Bird flu, China, Guangdong, Health, News, NW China, SE China, Technology, World | 1 Comment »

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