Monday, May 26, 2008

May 25 Flu Update

UNICEF is educating the media in Africa about how to write about bird flu.

Vietnam says some poultry producers are keeping bird flu at bay. (I have no idea what the cooling system has to do with anything).

many big chicken farms in Mekong Delta provinces are still safe from the scourge due to their self-contained chicken raising process and the automatic system of cooling.

Interesting article on poultry news in Asia. Note deep in the article that the live poultry trade will be banned in 2010.

ProMed has the story from Bangladesh.

The new information is that the infection was contracted in January 2008, and independent confirmation of the local diagnosis was not available until late May 2008. The affected child has since recovered, but the nature of his exposure remains unexplained.


At 5:41 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your first article from Vietnam about “automated systems for cooling large poultry operations”, threw me for a loop, and at first I thought it was a bunch of bunk, until I thought about what they are doing. It’s very ingenious.

I believe they are modernizing their cooling systems in their large commercial chicken production facilities, which is exactly how we cool our immense poultry production buildings here in the southern parts of the US. No CFC emissions and very economically efficient. We use water chillers, which are closed-loop systems comprised of a refrigeration plant, water chiller, and air or water cooled condenser. It is a very efficient process where fully chilled water is used to cool and dehumidify air in mid-to-large-size commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. This economical method of cooling is used in a vast array of industries, for example, food and beverage processing, and it is even used to cool high-heat specialized “things”, like MRI machines and lasers systems.

The advantage of these automated systems for cooling is that the poultry are indeed pretty much self contained. Self containment in large air conditioned buildings means that the chickens avoid heat induced stress which kills many of them, and they are not subject to any contact with migratory birds whatsoever – the facility can essentially be set up to be extremely bio-secure. Thus, bird flu contamination can be largely avoided. This is article is quite interesting and one of the most informative you’ve posted in quite a while.

I see in your other article from Indonesia that they plan to “ban all live chicken trading in Jakarta in 2010”. This we will have to wait and see and not hold our breath's, because for approximately two years now they have been making similar pronouncements, and nothing happens and no enforcement by their decentralized government occurs. Indonesians have been ignoring the government bans of backyard chickens, and just about everything else associated with bird flu control counter measures. I also do not believe importing beef from western and South American nations is an economical replacement for their poultry, in fact, it is far more expensive, so I doubt that strategy is going to work at all. The only way it would pay off, is if Indonesia were to invest in vast land areas and raise its own beef, much like China is doing in South America – China is literally purchasing very large humongous areas of land to start their own beef and cattle operations.

Probably the most concerning sentence in the entire Indonesian article is the following: “Komnas FPBI chairman Bayu Krisna Murthi, said research indicated the possibility of three new groups of bird flu virus strains, in addition to the already existing three groups in the area”. I translate this sentence to mean that there are now AT LEAST six known unique H5N1 clades or sub-strains of the virus circulating throughout their country.

With a total of over 1,000 wet slaughter houses processing approximately 400,000 chickens each day in Jakarta alone, and six sub-strains in circulation, the situation there has to be something akin to Dante’s Inferno.



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