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53 Birds Die In British Quarantine of H5N1 Infection

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posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 11:38 AM
British officials announce that 53 of 101 Asian finches from a Taiwanese consignment in quarantine died of the deadly avian flu virus, H5N1. While the finches, southeast Asian mesias, tested positive H5N1, it was unclear whether the finches received the infection from last month's well publicized death of a blue headed parrot from Surinam, South America, housed in the same facility. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, tissue samples were pooled, making it impossible to determine whether the virus came from the parrot or the mesia.
Fifty-three finches from Taiwan have died at a British quarantine centre because of an outbreak of the most deadly strain of avian flu, the government said.

The birds, southeast Asian mesias, also described as finches, died last month of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said Tuesday.

"Only the mesias were infected with H5N1 and 53 out of 101 birds died," it said.

The department also said it was not possible to know if a parrot from Surinam had in fact died from the same virus, as the tissues of the two species were mixed during testing.

"Infection with H5N1 was transmitted between the mesias, but there is no evidence of transmission to other species in the facility," it said.

"The original identification of HPAI H5N1 on October 21 was made from a pool of tissues derived from a Pionus parrot (Surinam) and a mesia (Taiwan)," the department said.

"It has not been possible to say whether the virus isolated came from the parrot tissue or the mesia tissue or both. However, in the light of the other evidence the balance of probabilities is that the source was the mesia sample."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I find it deeply disturbing that tissue samples would be pooled. Given the importance of understanding the precise details concerning any transmission, why would this have made sense? Moreover, I also find it disturbing that news of these deaths were not released sooner. Apparently, the finches started dying at the same time that news of the parrot's death hit the wires.

What is going on over there???

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
SCI/TECH: Bird Flu Reaches UK, Bird Dies In Quarantine

[edit on 15-11-2005 by loam]

[edit on 20-11-2005 by asala]

posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 11:41 AM
Interesting I remember a while back that a scientist or environmentalist said that the first sign that our ecosystems is in trouble will be when the birds start dying because they are more susceptible to the air we breath.

Funny everything I heard about dying animals, viruses and birds I starting to believe that something is not definitely right with our environment but as usual governments will never agree with it.

posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 11:41 AM
No kidding. Pooling the samples is seriously weird.

posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 12:20 PM
What would happen if all the birds die? by the time something like that happen we will be right next to them death too.

posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 02:30 PM

It now appears the pionus parrot did not likely die of H5N1!

Doubts over bird flu tests raised

Doubts over testing in quarantine for bird flu have been raised after it emerged Taiwanese finches, rather than a parrot, bought the disease to the UK.
A government report said the mixing of tissue samples led officials to wrongly assume a South American blue-headed pionus was the source of the virus.

Opposition politicians said the report exposed confusion in the system and raised more questions than it answered.

But ministers argued it showed quarantine procedures were working.

The probe for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it was more likely the virus was brought to an unnamed quarantine centre in Essex by 50 finches from Taiwan rather than by the parrot as previously thought.

Because the tissue samples of the first birds to die were mixed, it was unclear which birds had the H5N1 virus strain.

Later tests showed the Taiwanese birds were the "most likely" virus source, as H5N1 was not found in other species.

Shadow environment secretary Oliver Letwin said the report had exposed confusion in the handling of the issue and that quarantine procedures should be tightened immediately.

Testing pooled samples for diseases may have been appropriate in the past but not now when the country was on a state of alert for bird flu, he said...



[edit on 15-11-2005 by loam]

posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:37 PM

Honestly, this just SMACKS of bovine manure. Obviously, authorities don't want anyone to think that fatal H5N1 is in South America - better blame China instead, and let their trade suffer. The doublespeak and backspeak is getting more and more ridiculous every day.

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