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Hundreds of People Dead from Swine Disease in Sichuan?

Recombinomics Commentary

August 6, 2005

"Falsification of reports is definitely happening! Considering the geographical spread of the virus, how can there be only 38 deaths? (When I called home, my family members told me that there was a family which had a pig weighing more than 200kg. When it died, they had 4 workers to help the 3 of their own family deal with this dead pig. Before they could finish, a few of them fell to the floor consecutively. The time between onset of initial symptoms and death was approximately 20 minutes. How can they still say that this illness is curable?) Utter nonsense. How can they say that this epidemic is under control? What a lie."

"Exactly how many people are dead? Where are the 'Health people' (WHO? or local?) Officially there are only a few dozen deaths, but why are there natives saying that there are a few hundred instead? And controls are being placed on the movements of people now!"

The above comments from a Boxun story suggests the number dead in Sichuan is considerably higher than the official numbers of about 3 dozen.  Several aspects of the official numbers are suspect.  The above report describes several people falling ill at a single farm. The official reports have only about one person per location (80 cases in 75 villages), which is hard to maintain if there are many locations with multiple cases.  The OIE report on stamping out for bacterial infections is also suspect.  Streptococcus suis is widespread among pigs worldwide and control of bacteria usually does not involve stamping out.  The rapid spread of the illness also suggests a viral vector as opposed to a bacterial one (Chandu, Deyang, Luzhou, Mianyang, Nanchong, Neijing, Zigong, Ziyang are listed in OIE report).  The limitation of media coverage also raises concerns that the bacterial component of the story is not the true etiological agent, which is also supported by restrictions placed on movement.

All of the above sounds like a viral component such as H5N1 bird flu and a recombinant Ebola is responsible for the high case fatality rate and rapid spread to humans.

Clear an independent investigation by labs outside of China is warranted..

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