Web Zap*Germs Archive

May 24, 2005

China Vaccinating Poultry After H5N1 Avian Flu Kills Wild Geese

Avian flu appears to moving to new areas. After finding many wild geese dead from avian flu in remote Qinghai province early this month, China is vaccinating up to 3 million farm birds to prevent their catching it, says Reuters.
"In terms of the evolution of the pandemic (threat) if it spreads over a larger area -- and this does seem like a new area -- then it is going to be harder to prise the virus out of the environment," said Dick Thompson, the WHO's spokesman in Geneva.

"This doesn't change the risk assessment but it's still at a high level."

The H5N1 strain has killed 37 Vietnamese, 12 Thais and four Cambodians since it swept across large parts of Asia in late 2003.

This AFP story contains more detail.

Update 24 May 2005: Image Thief, blogging from Beijing, says the Chinese government is publicizing their efforts to quell the avian flu outbreak, but choosing not to report that cattle are being killed to stop foot-and-mouth disease.

Update 26 May 2005: Reuters and other news outlets are providing some additional details on the Chinese vaccine being used.


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