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  1. #1
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    Man 'dies from bird flu' in southern China

    Man 'dies from bird flu' in southern China - FRANCE 24

    31 December 2011 - 11H26

    Man 'dies from bird flu' in southern China


    A man walks past caged birds in Hong Kong. A bus driver in southern China who contracted the bird flu virus has died, health authorities say, in the nation's first reported human case of the deadly disease in 18 months.


    AFP - A bus driver in southern China who contracted the bird flu virus died on Saturday, health authorities said, in the nation's first reported human case of the deadly disease in 18 months.

    The man, surnamed Chen, died in Shenzhen -- a boomtown that borders Hong Kong where thousands of chickens have already been culled after three birds tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus in mid-December.

    He developed a fever on December 21 and was taken to hospital four days later, and diagnosed with severe pneumonia, said the health department in Shenzhen, a city of more than 10 million people.

    The 39-year-old then tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the department said, adding he had apparently had no direct contact with poultry in the month before he was taken ill, nor had he left the city.

    The H5N1 virus is fatal in humans in about 60 percent of cases.

    However, it does not pass easily from human to human, and the World Health Organization says it has never identified a "sustained human-to-human spread" of the virus since it re-emerged in 2003.

    The health department in Guangdong province, where Shenzhen is located, announced Saturday that the bus driver died after his lung, heart and liver functions deteriorated.

    "So far, 120 people who have had close contact with him have not presented abnormal symptoms," it said in a statement.

    An official at the Shenzhen agriculture and fisheries bureau, surnamed Jiang, told AFP the bus driver had had no contact with birds.

    "So far, we have not received any reports of any birds being infected," he said.

    "It is unclear where the patient got the flu from. We will not make any plans to kill domestic birds unless we know that was the source, or if there is any sign of birds being infected."
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    And in related news.....

    WHO ‘Deeply Concerned’ By Lab-Created Bird Flu Mutation - ABC News

    Dec 30, 2011 12:22pm

    WHO ‘Deeply Concerned’ By Lab-Created Bird Flu Mutation


    The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is “deeply concerned” about researchers creating a more contagious and fatal form of the H5N1 bird flu.

    Researchers in the Netherlands have manipulated the virus to make it more transmissible among humans, and it could potentially kill millions if released into the public.

    The findings were set to be released in the U.S. journal Science, but the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, an independent committee that advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies, reviewed it last Tuesday and warned that bioterrorists could replicate the study methods to create a weapon of biological warfare.

    On Friday, the WHO echoed the agencies’ sentiments by saying that the studies could open the door to “possible risks and misuses.”

    The current H5N1 strain is more often found in birds and not easily transmissible to human. Hundreds of millions of birds have died from the virus since it was first identified in 1996. So far an estimated 600 people have been infected. About 60 percent of those who get the bird flu die, according to the WHO.

    Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, said he created the contagious form of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain “easily” by mutating a few genes within the strain. He agreed to exclude methodology details from his published reports on the new strain.

    “We know which mutation to watch for in the case of an outbreak, and we can then stop the outbreak before it is too late,” Fouchier said in a statement on the medical center’s website. “Furthermore, the finding will help in the timely development of vaccinations and medication.”

    Fouchier is one of many researchers worldwide looking at what kind of mutations would make the H5N1 more dangerous to humans.

    In May, the WHO member countries adopted a Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework which set rules on sharing information about flu viruses that have pandemic potential.

    “While it is clear that conducting research to gain such knowledge must continue, it is also clear that certain research, and especially that which can generate more dangerous forms of the virus than those which already exist, has risks,” the WHO said in a public statement.

  3. #3
    Mid
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    Point of Order ...

    China IS Asia .

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