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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 10/31/2005
CHINA - ASIA
Bird flu in China very serious, say official sources

Migrating birds can carry the infection anywhere. The death of a girl in Hunan is still the subject of debate. Beijing stands accused of "excessive use" of an antiviral drug which has led to resistance of the virus. New cases are reported in Japan and South-east Asia.



Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Alarm bells are ringing loudly in China because of migrating birds which can take bird flu anywhere. Meanwhile the World Health Organisation (WHO) is asking for more information about the death of He Yin, a 12-year-old girl from Wantang in Hunan.

On Saturday, Jia Youling, chief veterinary officer within the Agriculture Ministry, defined the situation as "extremely serious". Said Jia: "The movements of migrating birds are frequent and the virus they carry is highly pathogenic. In April, 6,345 birds died near Lake Qinghai. A total of 138,323 chickens were culled in the last three cases of infection in Mongolia Interior, Anhui and Hunan and the spread of infection was contained. "But it is unrealistic to believe that the country can absolutely eliminate the virus."

Meanwhile, a polemic between the Chinese health authorities and WHO continues. Chen Xinyi, vice director of the Health Ministry's department of disease control, insists that China did not have any cases of human infection in 2005 and that He Yin died of "pneumonia". However, he added that the disease, which also struck the deceased's brother, He Junlong – still in hospital – was "caused by unknown factors and we have sent experts on site to undertake better research".

Observers said those who were in close contact with the two children in Wantang were "placed in isolation" and that police were watching the house of the family and forbidding any contact. The epidemic among chickens in the village started more than 15 days ago, however it was declared only on 25 October. Thousands of hens and ducks were slaughtered.

Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, WHO spokeswoman in Beijing said once again that "we do not have indications in the Health Ministry report about which tests were carried out, which samples taken for testing and when they were undertaken". She added that the WHO wanted more information about the case and was offering its help in carrying out laboratory testing. The girl was cremated and there are doubts about whether all necessary tests were done beforehand to ascertain the cause of death.

China has 14.2 billion farmed poultry, which amounts to 20.8% of the global total; its boast is that it has only 1.5% of cases of infection.

Meanwhile scientists have confirmed that the H5N1 virus in Vietnam and Thailand is resistant to Amantadine, one of the two antiviral drugs useful for protecting human beings. They said an excessive use of the drug to vaccinate chickens has led to the development of resistant strains of the virus. China stands accused of having made indiscriminate use of the drug to vaccinate poultry and of having given it to neighbouring countries too. The other drug, Oseltamivir used for Tamiflu, is much more expensive. Jia admitted that Beijing used the drug but never "after the 2004 epidemic" as it has a less expensive vaccine. Experts say the drug is not readily available to other states in the area and that the mutation of the virus points to its extensive use.

Japan. In a large breeding farm in Ibaraki, 100km north of Tokyo, hens have presented anti-bodies to bird flu. It was not possible to ascertain the type of virus. Around 82,000 hens were culled. Japan was struck by the less devastating H5N2 virus in 2004.

Thailand. A new breeding ground of infection among poultry is found in the north-east province of Kalasin.

Indonesia. Anton Apriyantono, Agriculture Minister warned that the situation is "critical, because the virus has infected pigeons" which fly everywhere. The first sick pigeon was found last week in Belasi, a short distance away from the capital Jakarta. Results are expected to ascertain if the virus came from Padang Sambian, a village in Bali, so far immune.

Russia. The infection of many chickens has been verified in the districts of Novicikha, Bavevsky and Gryaznovo, in the Siberian region of Altai bordering Kazakhstan. (PB)


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See also
11/14/2005 ASIA
Bird flu: scientists fear the virus has become "more contagious"
06/11/2005 ASIA
WHO: Greater transparency about bird flu
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Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
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Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
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WHO denies exaggerating bird flu pandemic threat
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Avian flu: chicken farms to be inspected in Hong Kong
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EU says Turkey's bird flu is lethal H5N1 strain
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Bird flu at the gates of Europe, second death in Turkey
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Bird flu: Hong Kong stops poultry imports from Sichuan
SAUDI ARABIA
Bird flu and terrorism cast a shadow over pilgrimage to Makkah
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WHO: China may have unidentified bird flu outbreaks
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Sixth human case of bird flu in China
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Farmer who blew the whistle on bird flu outbreak is arrested
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WHO urges China to share H5N1 virus samples
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HONG KONG - CHINA
Bird flu 38 times more infectious than SARS
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Bird flu: "Impossible" for China to vaccinate 14 billion birds
Vietnam
New human bird flu case confirmed in Vietnam
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Two more suspected avian flu deaths in Indonesia and Vietnam
SOUTH KOREA – APEC
Asia-Pacific Rim leaders urge common action against avian flu
ASIA
More outbreaks and human bird flu cases expected in China
CHINA - VIETNAM
China admits to first human case of bird flu
ASIA – CHINA
Avian flu: China might not be reporting every outbreak
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New human bird flu cases suspected in Vietnam and China
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Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia
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Prime Minister admits bird flu contagion peril
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A new death from bird flu in Vietnam
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China admits to three possible human cases of bird flu
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Fifth bird flu victim in Indonesia
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Bird flu pandemic would cost Asia 300 billion dollars
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In China newspapers can report on the bird flu only if authorised
THAILAND - ASIA
Thai woman tests positive for bird flu
VIETNAM - CHINA
Two more bird flu deaths feared in Vietnam
CHINA – ASIA
In China no information about the dangers of the avian flu
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Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
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More birds infected in China but world leaders have few suggestions
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Pandemic inevitable, say experts from around the world meeting in Canada
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Bird flu: China and Thailand want tighter controls on bird farming and human housing
CHINA
Beijing acknowledges bird flu situation is grave
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Bird flu spreads and claims new victim in Thailand
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Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
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Asian battleground key to beating bird flu virus
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China: an incubator of bird flu
ASIA - EUROPE
World ill-prepared to face bird flu pandemic
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Suspect death in Jakarta fuels global bird flu fears
TURKEY – INDONESIA
Bird flu: Ankara tries to allay western fears
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Avian flue pandemic could kill up to 300 million people
INDONESIA
Indonesia's bird flu toll is rising
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Bird Flu: Are there risks, cures?

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