» 12/17/2005, 00.00
Sixth human case of bird flu in China
Government fears an enormous epidemic in the Lunar New Year.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agenies) Chinese state media said a 35-year-old man in eastern China had become infected with the potentially deadly H5N1 strain of the virus after an outbreak was reported in ducks in his village. This is the sixth human bird flu case in China. The man, identified only by his surname, Guo, fell ill on December 4 and was recovering in the hospital, the China Daily newspaper a government daily newspaper, reported. Some ducks in his village were also affected.
The mainland expects more bird flu outbreaks in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday late next month. Jia Youling, director of the Ministry of Agriculture's veterinary bureau, said on December the 14: "we expect poultry consumption will rise and there will be more long-haul transport during the New Year and Spring Festival holidays. Therefore, bird flu outbreaks may occur."
Mr Jia said such a risk could only be removed if the entire poultry population was vaccinated against H5N1, but so far "only 80 per cent of poultry had been vaccinated, with 6.85 billion doses of vaccine given to poultry this year". Scientists had not found any evidence that vaccinated chicken could carry or spread the virus, he said, adding the import bans were a result of "outdated perceptions".
Jia rejected comments by Hong Kong microbiologist Guan Yi that it was unrealistic for the country to vaccinate all its domestic fowl. He also denied rumours that the H5N1 virus had been found among mainland pigs. "Currently, no virus has been found in any pig."
Prime Minister admits bird flu contagion peril
WHO will carry out validation checks in Chinese labs, which are under fire after two researchers were infected by Sars in 2004. There is concern about the frequency of outbreaks of infection. The price of poultry is dropping.
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Deadly "bird flu" may mutate, spread to other hosts
Bird flu hits Asia again, from China and India to Egypt
Outbreaks are recorded and poultry culled in India, China, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. People are ill in Indonesia and Cambodia. A 16-year girl dies in Egypt. The World Health Organisation urges countries not to let down their guard for a pandemic is still a real possibility.
Bird flu: WHO rules out epidemic in China
The 5th death in less than a month has raised alarms. But the World Health Organization says this is within the forecasts, and there are no signs of an epidemic.
Bird flu strikes India's Maharashtra State
The infection has been there for two weeks but was confirmed just two days ago. This is the first time the infection has been reported in India. A state of quarantine has been imposed together with widespread culling of poultry; the central government is calling for calm.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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