Sunday, June 08, 2008

June 7 Flu Update

About the only news today is the Hong Kong outbreak. It's all over the place.

Other than a lot of culling and wailing, here's an article that says Hong Kong has banned "mainland" poultry from China.

ProMed also has this. Note mod comment that lists Hong Kong protective measures that seemed to have worked for a long time. HK was the site of the very first H5N1 outbreak 11 years ago.


At 10:27 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The news articles which are reporting the discovery of H5N1 in the market in Hong Kong, strongly imply that the chickens (at least some of them) originated from mainland China. Otherwise, why would they instantly be instituting a poultry import ban from there ? Yet, not a peep from China about any infections there in the chickens, which isn’t unusual. Sadly, with Indonesia now sending mixed messages about embargoing their bird flu infection information, it seems more likely than ever that the same theme of “apathy, carelessness and neglect” which led up to the events of the great pandemic of 1918, are about to be reenacted.

When H5N1 commingles with other human Type A seasonal influenza viruses (co-infections) and becomes highly transmissible and deadly to the human population, is anybody’s guess – but it would be reasonable to assume that the virus cannot remain indefinitely confined only to avian species. If it hasn’t already, I suspect it will jump on a large scale to swine and other mammals, and I truly believe that will perhaps be a warning bell.

Maybe the Vietnam seroprevalence blood studies will shed some scientific light on how far the virus has already advanced into human kind.

Until then, we are going to be faced with endless weekly reports of dying or infected chickens, culling activities, sporadic human infections, suspect human cases and conflicting test results, and overt actions by governments to suppress information to stave off panic and economic repercussions.



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