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Spreading H5N1 Infections in Three Provinces in China

Recombinomics Commentary

November 22, 2005

An outbreak in Urumqi, the capital of the far western region of Xinjiang, killed 38 birds on November 16, prompting the culling of 8,388 birds, Xinhua said. Another in Ningxia province's Yinchuan city on Nov. 17 killed 230 poultry, with 66,800 culled. On the same day in the southern province of Yunnan, 2,500 birds died in the city of Chuxiong, and authorities later put 99,400 birds to death, Xinhua said.

The above report clearly shows a worsening situation in China.  The frequency of reported outbreaks is increasing, and the latest report covers a broad geographical area.

Outbreaks near Urumqi were reported last June, which led to extensive vaccinations.  However, new outbreaks were recorded this month, in spite of additional vaccinations (see map).

The outbreak in Ningxia represents a new province as does the outbreak in Yunnan.  Yunnan has had outbreaks in prior seasons and is adjacent to Vietnam.  It is south of any prior outbreak in China this season and signals more migration of birds to the south.  These outbreaks maybe related to the increase in reported outbreaks in Thailand and Vietnam.

These outbreaks are somewhat earlier than usual. In the past, most of the H5N1 in Vietnam and Thailand have been at the beginning of the year, so the early reports may signal an even greater number of cases in the upcoming months.


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