Friday, October 21, 2005

Bird Flu Arrives....

The IHT and other news organs are reporting our first case of the deadly strain of bird flu:

Taiwanese authorities on Thursday confirmed the island's first case of bird flu, the Agricultural Commission said.
Birds taken from a Panama-registered freighter that was stopped by the Taiwanese coast guard on Oct. 14 tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the commission said.

The IHT article also has a good global roundup of avian flu developments. Taiwan News says that the birds were smuggled into the country. [Deleted due to David's sane comments]

A national outbreak is unlikely, as samples taken for testing were collected from birds that were already dead before they were destroyed, said Ying Yeh, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

"Taiwan is not a bird flu-affected area, as the birds were not local but smuggled from abroad," said Watson Sung, the bureau's director general.

Do they think that the smugglers had no local connections? Or what? Those gangsters abed with the police, both political parties, and other local power structures are going to kill us. To be safe, officials say, follow the Ten DON'Ts and Five DOs:

The "Ten Don'ts" include: don't stay in crowded areas for long periods of time, don't engage in physical contact with birds, don't travel to infected areas and engage in physical contact with birds, don't breed different kinds of domestic or foreign fowl, don't release birds into the open, don't purchase poultry from unknown and unauthorized sources, don't eat uncooked poultry or poultry made from infected birds, don't discard dead birds that have been infected, don't privately slaughter birds.

The Five Do's include washing hands frequently, taking flu vaccinations, eating wholly-cooked food, improving one's immunity, and taking care of one's health.

There you have it.

1 comment:

David said...

I don't think the subtext is that "all disease is foreign" - the point is that these birds were caught before they actually arrived in Taiwan (they were stopped and inspected offshore). Hence, the reduced chance of internal transmission in Taiwan.