Are you ready for the bird flu or have you forgotten about it like most? Once again the bird flu is marching across Asia.
An Indonesian hospital was on Monday overwhelmed with patients suffering bird flu symptoms while the virus spread further among flocks in Vietnam and flared anew in Thailand.
A recent spurt of human infections with the H5N1 bird flu virus, which re-emerged in Asia in late 2003, has alarmed health officials.
Four Indonesians have died this year after a six-week lull in cases, taking the number of people killed by bird flu in the country to 61, the highest in the world.
Be prepared for the bird flu. The Bird Flu is survivable, you need to be ready.
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A dead bird found in Hong Kong has tested positive for a mildr strain of the bird flu virus, the city’s health authorities said.
“Preliminary testing of a dead bird … indicate a suspected case of H5 avian influenza,” a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement.
Further tests are now being carried out on the carcass of the Crested Hoshawk, which was found by a member of the public, the statement added.
Hong Kong was the scene of the world’s first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died of a then unknown mutation of the avian flu virus. Millions of poultry were culled.
A renewed outbreak in 2003 among poultry flocks in Asia triggered a wave of bird flu infections worldwide.
The bird flu’s H5N1 strain is potentially deadly to humans. Bird flu has killed more than 150 people worldwide since late 2003. There are fears it could mutate and trigger a deadly human flu pandemic.
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The first cases appeared in Glasgow in May. During the following months the influenza virus killed a quarter of a million people in Britain. Worldwide, the death toll was about 50 million. One doctor said it was “the most vicious type of pneumonia that has ever been seen”.
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The number of people that could die in a flu pandemic that matches the 1918-20 outbreak will be “very scary” and far higher than the 62 million deaths forecast by a recent study, an adviser to the White House said on Monday.
“I think that number is a very optimistic number if we are talking about a 1918-wide pandemic today,” Rajeev Venkayya, Special Assistant for Biodefense to President Bush, said.
The 1918-20 “Spanish influenza” pandemic - the worst in living history - killed anywhere from 20 million to 100 million people. Half a million died in the United States alone. (more…)
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Tests have found that four members of a family in southern Vietnam who were hospitalized with symptoms of bird flu were not infected with the bird flu virus, a doctor said Tuesday.
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