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Thailand Issues Strong Bird Flu Warning

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posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 01:40 PM
Bird flu patients with mild symptoms will spread the H5N1 flu virus faster than SARS spread, warns Khamnuan Ungchusak, the Director of the Epidemiology Bureau of Thailand's Disease Control Department. The warning news release is more strongly worded than any other.

Epidemiology Bureau warns Thais of H5N1 bird flu

Epidemiology Bureau warns Thai people of severe epidemic diseases especially the H5N1 avian influenza which can be contagious among human beings.

Khamnuan Ungchusak, the Director of the Epidemiology Bureau of the Disease Control Department, revealed that the epidemic may become more serious. ...

According to Mr Khamnuan, the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that the H5N1 bird flu will mutate into a more severe disease. If it breaks out, it will spread faster than the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS as bird flu patients with mild symptoms can spread the H5N1 virus through air and contact.

The strong warning may reflect concerns about H5N1's recent resurgence and spread in Asia.

posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 05:50 AM
The cold season has arrived to Thailand a month later than "normal". In the middle of December it finally set in with an unusual cold spell, benefitting any virus causing flu and colds. I suspect the impact is proportional with the temperatur decline and it can be a reason for the stronger wording.

Personally I haven't noticed any more colds among people than what's usual for the season. When the temperature drops below 15 degree celsius (55 dg fahrenheit) SE Asian people get colds and coughs.

Because it is colder than usual there might be more coughs.

Dr Hans Troedsson, the head WHO in Vietnam has issued an unusual strong warning after an outbreak of the lethal H5N1 strain was found on a poultry farm in December, the first in almost a year.

Vietnam warned on bird flu threat
New WHO chief Margaret Chan has warned that bird flu remains a global threat.

Dr Chan, a bird flu expert from Hong Kong, said reports of bird flu had started to surface in recent weeks after a lull and that the danger was particularly severe in poor countries.

"We must not let our guard down. We must maintain our vigilance," she said, after becoming the first Chinese citizen to head the UN agency.

Dr Troedsson, the WHO's Vietnam Country Director, said last month's confirmed outbreak did not mean Vietnam's current policies had failed.

But he warned that the onset of the colder winter months - when the virus survives for longer - and February's lunar new year festivities "could have a negative impact".

"Not only the movement of people will increase but the consumption of poultry, so there will be more transport and handling and slaughtering of poultry," he told the BBC's Bill Hayton in Hanoi.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

By the way BBC has an very informative interactive map on the spread of H5N1. Can be found here.

posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 06:24 PM
Thanks khunmoon.

Great interactive on bird flu too.

...I'm always disappointed when these things are not up to date though - like Sardion's globahealth map.

But the info that IS there, is quite revealing. ...Do you know if that was a one-time effort, or does the BBC intend to update it?

Thanks, sofi

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 05:17 AM
Always happy to contribute, sofi.

About BBC will update, I don't know but I would think so, they put a lot of pride and fonds in education, so I would think so.

Today I have this story from Bangkok Post about smuggling of vaccine, a common business probably a lot more than we hear about.

B20m in smuggled bird flu vaccine seized
''Bird flu vaccination in fowls is prohibited in Thailand,'' he said. ''The country's bird flu prevention operation will be badly affected if these 1,800 bottles of H5N1 virus vaccine were able to find their way to poultry farmers.''

The use of vaccine in fowl has been debated as poultry raisers and experts are divided.

Traditional fowl raisers, including those who raise free-range ducks, favour the vaccine, claiming it would help prevent their poultry from dying of avian flu. But many virologists say the vaccine would speed up virus mutations to a point that triggers a pandemic.

Next month the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry's panel on bird flu vaccination will send to cabinet its word on whether the ban should be lifted.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

As you can see from the article they're now considering making the practice legal in Thailand. A move likely in view of the latest setbacks in their economy.

I'm aware of vaccinations being a short sighted solution, but do you know which countries who actually practice it - and what the impacts are?

Thank you, khunmoon

[edit on 7-1-2007 by khunmoon]

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 10:39 AM

Originally posted by khunmoon

I'm aware of vaccinations being a short sighted solution, but do you know which countries who actually practice it - and what the impacts are?

Thanks khunmoon.

...Factory farming routinely uses vaccines and low-level antibiotics - both have the effect of creating superflus and superbugs.

The H5N1 vaccine issue is controversial. Countries hold off on vaccinating - then if they can afford it, start doing so to protect their poultry industries. But it's a bad idea - and as you say - a short term solution.

RE: Who uses H5N1 vaccines, and who doesn't. ...Have to check my files, and unable to do that right now. But as I recall...

Last year(?), Japan reported that an H5N1 vaccine resulted in a new strain - I believe.

China and Vietnam vaccinate I think - maybe some European nations. Not Indonesia that I know, but maybe now.

The problem is that culling is the best solution - but small farmers and poor people can't absorb the cost.

Most of the resistance and strain mixing comes from corporate industrial factory farms - but they ride on the compassion factor, and help fight against culling as a solution (vaccinating instead).

...So even though nations per se may not have a vaccination program, the industrial factory farms do it to protect their investments. Even when the national policy prohibits vaccination.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 11:28 PM
Here's todays story on bird flue from Bangkok Post.

It tells about implementing Geographic Information System (GIS) to combat the disease, but the chink left in the armour, will be those who use it.

It produced samples of GIS material to show how this "little helper" can help state officials tackle national problems, such as the southern violence, education planning, disaster warning and emergency response.

But the technology has proven unpopular with state agencies and Mr Sombat is still searching to find out why.

Maybe it was because most state agencies had poor information management and collection system, he said. It was almost impossible to set up a GIS system from a poor database.

"Or maybe it's simply because state officials prefer not to see things too clearly because then they will have to work harder. That's why they always come up with vague policies," he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

IMO, the last statement is very close to reality when it comes to the commitment of officials in Thailand.

They're not used to too much work and not asked to think, left alone make decisions.

[edit on 7-1-2007 by khunmoon]

posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:54 PM
Update from BBC, 15 January 2007, 11:17 GMT.

Thailand hit by bird flu outbreak
Thailand has suffered an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, its first for six months.
The virus was confirmed following the deaths of around 100 ducks in the northern Phitsanulok province.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Vietnam says bird flu has reached a seventh province in the Mekong Delta region.

Health officials across Asia are on alert as a growing number of countries have reported cases in both birds and humans in recent weeks.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 12:21 PM
These guys likely just got scared - a common opener for sci-fi pandemic movies.

Hunt for 2 workers from bird-flu farm

Phitsanulok health officials are searching for two farm workers who disappeared from the duck farm where the bird-flu virus was found.

The two men went missing some time after the infection was detected on the farm in Tambon Chumpol of the province's Muang district on Monday, said Kitti Puthikanont, acting head of the Disease Control Division 9 in Phitsanulok.

Neither of them were checked if they had the virus despite having lived and worked inside the farm where the ducks were raised, said Public Health Minister Dr Mongkol na Songkhla.

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