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Two More H5N1Wild Bird Flu Outbreaks Reported in China

Recombinomics Commentary

November 18, 2005

in northern Shanxi province, the disease was suspected on November 10 on farms near Xiaoyi city after 8,103 birds had died…….

In the other case near Urumqi, the capital of northwestern Xinjiang region, eight chickens died on November 12

The above comments describe two more H5N1 outbreaks in China and raise concerns that the H5N1 outbreaks are not under control.  The earlier outbreaks have been linked to H5N1 in migratory birds and the repeated outbreaks in the same areas indicate that control measures on the ground are not solving the problem of new H5N1 infections transported via migratory birds.

The latest outbreak in Xinjiang is the 4th outbreak since November 9, when outbreaks in Zepu and Urumqi began.  The next day an outbreak in Hetian City began, and now the outbreak near Urumqi, beginning November 12 has been reported.  In June there were also outbreaks in Tacheng and Changji in Xinjiang Province.

Similarly, the outbreak in Shanxi is close to the recent three outbreaks in Hubei that began this month.  There have also been 4 outbreaks in Liaoning (see map).

OIE reports indicate China is now using three different vaccines to try to control the outbreaks, suggesting the current vaccines are not effective as H5N1 continues to recombine and shuffle polymorphisms to evade the vaccines.

There have now been 7 outbreaks announced in China this week, which is cause for concern.  Usually H5N1 outbreaks begin increasing in January through March, so the early and increasing activity is cause for concern.  Human cases have been confirmed or are under investigation in Hunan, Anhui, and Lianing.  Boxun reports indicate human fatalities are more widespread and found in the various provinces reporting H5N1 poultry outbreaks.


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