China Bird Flu Update

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on February 6, 2009

First the good news. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture told the China Daily there have been no reports of bird flu outbreak among poultry since January in the provinces where eight human infections were found. “There is no epidemic outbreak of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in the seven provinces where the human bird flu cases were identified,” it said in a statement to China Daily.

And now the not-so-good news: It sounds like the ministry has not been able to trace exactly how the humans got infected. And shouldn’t it be the Ministry of Health, and not the Ministry of Agriculture, which issues statments about possible pandemics?

To its credit, the China Daily report presented an extremely balanced story, citing a W.H.O. official and a Hong Kong medical expert who originally prompted stories early this month about a possible cover-up of a new outbreak of Avian Flu.

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