Published Date: 2005-05-22 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, geese - China
Archive Number: 20050522.1413
AVIAN INFLUENZA, GEESE - CHINA
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 22 May 2005
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Reuters alert news, 22 May 2005 [edited]
China on bird flu alert after geese deaths
China is on high alert against bird flu after discovering a new outbreak in
a western province, domestic media reported on Sunday [22 May 2005].
Scientists had proved that the deadly virus had killed scores of migratory
birds in early May 2005 in remote Qinghai province, reports said.
"This is the 1st report of H5N1 virus detected in China since the country
successfully brought 50 cases of bird flu under control last year ,"
the Xinhua news agency said.
The Beijing News said a national laboratory had confirmed that the H5N1
strain of bird flu, which has jumped from birds to humans, was responsible
for the deaths of 178 wild geese reported on 4 May 2005.
The Agriculture Ministry had required the whole country to take emergency
measures, Xinhua said.
Those measures included basic quarantine and disinfection steps, keeping
people out of migratory bird habitats and limiting contact between humans
and domesticated birds, it said.
Xinhua did not say how the ministry hoped to minimize contact between
people and birds. Chinese families commonly keep a few chickens.
There had been no reports of the virus spreading to humans or domestic fowl
in Qinghai, the Beijing News said. The area where the dead geese were found
had been sealed off for 10 days.
The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed 37 Vietnamese, 12 Thais and 4
Cambodians since it swept across large parts of Asia in late 2003.
[ProMED-mail thanks to Richard Wilsnack <email@example.com>,
Pablo Nart <pablo11@hotPOP.com>, Mary Marshall
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, and Akira Goto <email@example.com>
for submitting similar items. - Mod.MPP]
[Though avian influenza virus has been isolated from geese in various
countries, clinically manifested disease is not common in this species. In
China, outbreaks of disease due to highly pathogenic avian influenza
viruses of the H5 subtype were not reported in geese until 1996. During the
summer and early fall of 1996, an outbreak of disease with 40 percent
morbidity occurred on a goose farm in Guangdong Province. At least 2
influenza A (H5N1) viruses from sick birds were isolated. The pathogenicity
of one of these isolates, A/Goose/Guangdong/1/96, was evaluated in
experimentally-inoculated geese and chickens and found to cause disease and
death in these birds. (Xiyan Xu et al, 1999. Virology 261, 15-19).
In our posting 20050510.1278, we reported that China ruled out, on 9 May
2005, bird flu as responsible for the deaths of 178 spot-headed geese in a
nature reserve. It seems that further investigations might have led now to
different conclusions. Official, clear results of the laboratory
investigations, with special reference to the exclusion of other or
additional causal agents leading to mortality, the genotyping of the
isolate and details of studies, if performed, of its pathogenicity in
various potentially exposed species, including mammals, are in need.
The total number of H5N1 outbreaks, reported by China throughout the
regional panzootic, which started at the end of 2003, is 50 -- compared to
significantly higher figures in neighboring Thailand (1092) and Viet Nam
(1837). China's last report on its HPAI H5N1 situation was sent to the OIE
on 6 Jul 2004. For fairness sake, it should be mentioned that in China,
mass vaccinations in chickens and in domestic ducks and geese are widely
applied, preventing infections or suppressing clinical manifestation of the
Current disease occurrence updates from all member-countries are expected
to become available during OIE's General Session, commencing today, 22 May
2005, in Paris. - Mod.AS]