Jan
18
2009

Bird flu rears its head again in China

Bird flu death in China
Bird flu death in ChinaCourtesy broterham
A two year old girl in northern China has tested positive for bird flu. Early this month, January 5, a 19-year-old Beijing woman died of bird flu after handling poultry. She had purchased ducks at a market in Hebei Province, which neighbors Beijing. Although she had close contact with 116 people, no one around her has fallen ill.

Pandemic possibilities worry officials

Human-to-human transmission of avian flu is rare, but officials worry the virus could mutate and become a deadly pandemic. H5N1 has led to 248 deaths worldwide since 2003, including 21 in China.

Source articles:
Click this link to read all CNN articles about bird flu

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Another death in China from bird flu

Ms Zhang, aged 27, died at the weekend after becoming infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. (click this to read more: BBC)

posted on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 11:58am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Another bird flu victim - 3rd one in three days!

"The patient's condition is critical," the statement said. It added that he previously had "contact with dead poultry." (click this to read more: Yahoo News)

posted on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 12:34pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Another bird flu death in China.
A 16-year-old Chinese boy dies from H5N1 bird flu (click to read more)

While the disease remains hard for humans to catch, scientists have warned if outbreaks among poultry are not controlled, the virus may mutate into a form more easily passed between people.

posted on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 9:16am
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

the stories about bird flu still sound too much like what the news media is typically guilty of: fearmongering. last time i checked, NONE of the deaths were in the usa.

i know michael moore touched on this in one of his documentaries, how there was the fear of a killer bee attack- but it still hasn't arrived in america.

posted on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 12:58pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Remember the mumps epidemic in Iowa a couple years ago (click the link in red to read our reporting)? I think this disease was brought to Iowa from overseas via passenger jet.

posted on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 5:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

While you make a good point about the media sensationalizing stories, especially those related to science and nature, which much of the public scarcely understands, your comment that "none of the deaths were in the usa" is shortsighted.

If the virus did mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, global travel patterns would make it nearly impossible to contain.

And that's just the movement of people! Birds also migrate long distances, and so there's the possibility that an infected wild bird could spread the disease to domestic flocks along the way. Just because most of the outbreaks have happened at a distance from you does not make their impact irrelevant.

posted on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 8:53am
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

shortsighted? no. that's fact- NONE of the bird flu deaths have been in the USA.
is it possible that future deaths would be here? of course, anything is. but i get tired of fearmongering, since living in fear isn't living.

posted on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 6:00pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

as for the mumps epidemic, last time i checked that is a disease that one can be vaccinated for.
i was vaccinated for it before i took a job at a healthcare facility when i was in high school. it was MMR- also for measles and rubella.

posted on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 6:02pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

A 21-year-old woman in central China has been infected by the H5N1 strain of bird flu in the country's eighth reported case of the disease this year.

China has reported seven other cases of H5N1 since January, five of which were fatal.

Click this link to read more about bird flu deaths in China.

posted on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 1:10pm
TehKing's picture
TehKing says:

Let'shope they keep the bird flu in China.

posted on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 2:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you shouldn't be stupid and play with chickens

posted on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 4:43pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

why the switching between mention of bird flu and mumps? i don't see the relevance here.

and there are MANY diseases that are happening in countries besides america. bird flu isn't the only one.

does anyone die of typhoid in america anymore? no. because our water quality standards are greatly improved.

i am aware of how wcco-tv recently ran a story about the CDC wanting comments IN CASE of a bird flu epidemic, about who deserves vaccinations in case they run low. that is definitely fear mongering, when they talk of how many COULD die. but HAVEN'T.
and their comparison to the 1918 flu epidemic? i question the relevance of that. things have changed in 90 years.

posted on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 5:36pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I think that the comparison to mumps was made because, while we don't see many cases of mumps here in the US anymore, global travel makes it easy for microbes to spread. Yes, we can vaccinate against mumps. But lots of parents choose not to, thinking that their children are unlikely to contract the disease in any case. And that means we could see a resurgence of the disease.

And you are correct: there are many diseases, age-old and emerging, that occur in other countries. Avian flu is just one. But with its close relationship to the 1918 flu, our relatively recent experience with the devastation left in the wake of that virus, and avian flu's potential to spread widely and quickly if it ever makes the jump to easy human-to-human transmission, it's one that epidemiologists and disaster planners are keeping an especially close eye on.

I think that scientists and policy makers would be happy to be wrong on this one. Everyone hopes we'll dodge this bullet. But there will eventually be another influenza pandemic. History shows us that's just the nature of the virus. And I don't envy people who have to make decisions about whether or not to stockpile drugs and make plans to distribute them. It's a catch-22 situation: if they don't stockpile the drugs and a pandemic develops, people will be outraged that the drugs aren't available. And if they do stockpile the drugs and a pandemic doesn't develop, people will be outraged over the needless expense.

A similar situation developed in 1976, when scientists were concerned about a strain of swine flu that seemed to present like the 1918 flu. The government fast-tracked the production of a vaccine and pushed to innoculate everyone in the United States against the virus. But the 1976 virus proved to be a false alarm.

Still, drawing the conclusion that 1976 flu didn't turn into a pandemic, so there's no reason to worry about the avian flu, either, would be wrong, scientists say. Instead, they say that, once fears of a pandemic arise--like now, vaccines and drugs should be stockpiled by governments until there is clear evidence that a pandemic is underway.

iowaboy, you might be particularly interested in this thread: "A killer race". The jist of it is that the 1918 flu was "interesting" in that, unlike other forms of influenza, it killed not only the very young and the very old, but also young adults in their prime.

As I said in that thread,

"Some virologists think that the 1918 outbreak began in the giant, crowded camps set up to train soldiers for World War II, and traveled around the world with the soldiers. There isn't a mass mobilization of that scale anywhere in the world today. Many people who didn't die of viral pneumonia later developed bacterial pneumonia; in 1918 there were no antibiotics, but obviously we have very good ones today. And SOME people probably are less crowded, better nourished, and have better access to medicine. But not everyone. And, as is the case with many infectious diseases, the threat to the least fortunate is a threat to all of us."

The best defense against avian flu is probably to concentrate resources of all sorts in the areas where the population is likely to be hit hardest. And you're right: that's probably not America. You can call it fear mongering, but emergency planners would have a tough time explaining why they didn't prepare, knowing what we know now, when and if a 1918-type influenza starts to spread.

(other Buzz stories tagged "1918 flu")

posted on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 6:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

omg... u r soooooo right

posted on Sat, 02/07/2009 - 3:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how is this possible? when our ancestors lived, influeza didn't exsist! and now its a big problem!? how?

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 1:10pm
Candace's picture
Candace says:

so, how do you get this bird flu? do you eat the chicken and then get it? but if you cook chicken properly, wouldnt it kill all the germs..?

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 11:16pm
Candace's picture
Candace says:

sry. i ment the bird flu...

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 11:17pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I think handling dead birds is more likely.

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 9:13am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this was very interesting to read about

posted on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 1:54pm

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