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Suzhou Jiangsu Deaths Linked to Sichuan Swine or H5N1?
August 17, 2005
Authorities in east China's Jiangsu province say they are investigating the deaths of two people who reportedly are suspected of having been infected with a swine-borne disease that has killed 39 people.
The men, one of them said to be a butcher and the other a meat seller, died earlier this month at hospitals in Suzhou, the provincial capital, reports in the Hong Kong and mainland media said.
An official at the Jiangsu Health Bureau, who refused to give her name, confirmed Wednesday that the cases were under investigation. But she said the cause of the two deaths had not yet been confirmed.
The twp deaths reported above would seem to be linked to the swine-related outbreak in Sichuan Province, which may be spreading via contaminated pork. Although the cause of the infections and deaths has been said to be streptococcus suis, the high case fatality rate and the sudden appearance of the disease raise questions about the diagnosis.
Third party boxun reports have implicated Ebola in the swine infections. Moreover, Sichuan is situated next to Qinghai Province. Migratory birds from Qinghai Lake moved H5N1 to Chany Lake in Novosibirsk in Siberia, which has led to a major H5N1 wild bird flu outbreak in Russia and Kazakhstan. That outbreak is now spreading into Europe to the west and Mongolia to the east. Reports of H5N1 infections in China are conspicuously absent.
Restrictions by China have limited third party testing of the swine and human victims, and now new cases are appearing at an ever increasing distance from Sichuan. Third party testing for agents other than Streptococcus suis would be warranted.