Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 23 Flu Update

CIDRAP on the virus re-surfacing in Pakistan, angry farmers in Hong Kong and the FAO telling Vietnam to keep vaccinating poultry for 3-5 years.

Elsewhere, chicken farmers in Hong Kong threatened to release their chickens to protest what they see as an unfair compensation offer from government officials who, after recent H5N1 outbreaks in the city's live poultry markets, are exploring the possibility of phasing out live chicken trading, according to a Jun 20 AFP report.

In other avian influenza developments, experts from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently said Vietnam will probably need to continue vaccinating poultry for at least the next 3 to 5 years, according to a Jun 19 statement from the FAO.

ProMed also has the news from Pakistan. Note mod comment:

If the current outbreaks are officially confirmed -- as they appear to be -- this is disappointing and a blow to the Pakistani poultry industry and indeed to the veterinary services which have, reportedly, invested considerable efforts and skill to control and eradicate the epizootic; the declaration of freedom above may have to be reconsidered. Possibly, the current event is due to the unstable situation along the borders with Afghanistan, allowing introduction of infected animals and their products, contaminated feed, etc.

DEFRA in Britain looks at the recent outbreak, concludes it was limited to one place.

Here's an Olympic swimmer who wrote a master's thesis on bird flu.


At 6:56 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


A couple of things in your first article (CIDRAP summary) seem pretty clear to the casual observer. First, the NW border frontier of Pakistan still poses a significant bird flu infestation threat, especially to India and other bordering neighbors, regardless of the veterinary containment efforts expended. Sad to say, unless they institute a mandatory poultry vaccination program (like Vietnam), it appears unlikely they will be able to ever bring their outbreaks under control. Of course, the bad aspects of poultry vaccination against H5N1 is that it is terribly costly, and logistically, it is nearly impossible to keep the cycle of vaccination going full steam (near 100% coverage) over the long term.

There are simply too many free roaming chickens and ducks in villages and on farms, spread out over millions of square miles in third world countries (especially in Asia and China), in order to inoculate all of them with any certainty. Some of the key remedial approaches that all of these countries will have to implement, in my view, is total elimination of uncontrolled live chicken trading and wet markets. Bringing bird flu into control is going to taking a multitude of different highly controlled approaches, tools and techniques – including moving to ultra bio-secure large commercial operations and massive poultry vaccination measure – before any of these countries will begin to make any progress at true containment. If they don’t make the up front investment in these areas now, they face the threat of losing their primary source of protein in the near future.

And the Tara Kirk bio ? Some people are just high achievers and impressive at everything. She is one obviously one of these type of individuals. They lucked out when the gene pool was passed around.

Then there’s the rest of us…



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