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H5N1 Kills Domestic Geese in Xinjiang Near Qinghai China

Recombinomics Commentary
June 8, 2005

>>There's been an outbreak of birdflu in the northwestern province of Xinjiang. Mainland officials found more than one thousand geese in a poultry farm carrying the deadly H5N1 virus. Of these, 460 have died. They've since slaughtered about 13-thousand geese, sealed off the farm and carried out disinfection. <<

The outbreak of H5N1 in Xinjiang, adjacent to Qinghai, supports reports that the H5N1 outbreak at Qinghai Lake is marked worse than the 1000 dead geese in the official news conference.  These data also discount prior speculation that the deaths at Qinghai Lake were due to something other than H5N1 or official comments that the Qinghai Lake was isolated and limited to wild waterfowl.  The outbreak has been detailed in the China OIE report dated June 8, 2005.

H5N1 usually is not fatal to ducks and geese.  However, in the OIE report, China found five species of waterfowl that had died from H5N1 and the Abundant News report detailed over 8000 deaths in 12 bird species.

The testing of the H5N1 indicated the H5N1 bird flu was HPAI based on the sequence of the HA cleavage site as well as the ability to kill laboratory infected chickens.

This latest report indicates that the H5N1 is also fatal to domestic geese, killing 413 of the 1000 infetced and leading to a culling of 13,000 geese.

Of possible related significance is an earlier report to Promed of geese dying in Fujian Province.  The symptoms sounded like bird flu and had been a continuous problem since 2003.  Since the dying geese were replace by geese from Jiangsu and Jiangxi Provinces and he deaths continued, a H5N1 variant that kills geese may be widespread in China.

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