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Bird Flu in Fujian Jiangsu and Jiangxi Provinces in China?

Recombinomics Commentary

April 5, 2005

>> In the early stage, ill geese are listless, reduce food intake, stand about or squat and lie. At grazing time, they often lag behind the others. Thirst increases (this is especially obvious in caged flocks; liquid consumption rises 3-5 fold). [Ill geese] excrete white loose stool, in later stages excreting yellow-green or dark brown loose stool (a minority excrete coagulated blood). Some ill geese stand unsteadily, lean forward, fall on their sides, move slowly, roll, contort their necks and [display] other neurological symptoms.  <<

The above description from ProMed of geese in Fujian Province in China certainly sounds like bird flu.  Deaths have persisted since the fall of 2003, when H5N1 spread throughout China.  Earlier in 2003 two Hong Kong patients developed bird flu symptoms after vacationing in Fujian Province.  The father died as did his daughter in Fujian province.  The son survived and H5N1 was isolated (A/HK/
212/03 (H5N1), A/HK/213/03 (H5N1)) from the father and son.  These two isolates were placed in the Z+ category.  Other H5N1 isolates in Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, various eastern provinces in China, South Korea, and Japan are Z isolates or closely related to Z isolates.

Although the geese illness persists in Fujian Province, there have been no recent OIE reports from China on H5N1.  The last report was July 6, 2004. Moreover the dead geese are continuously replaced with geese from Jiangsu Province, Jiangxi Province, and elsewhere in China.

The above description raises serious questions about the lack of any OIE reports on H5N1 in mainland China this season.

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