Friday, June 03, 2005

Over 8000 Bird Flu Deaths in Gangcha County Qinghai China?

Recombinomics: Over 8000 Bird Flu Deaths in Gangcha County Qinghai China?

Dr. Niman is relying on a machine translation from a Chinese language website where anyone can post. As Crawford Kilian notes, this sounds like Nostradamus.

I think some perspective is necessary. Wild animals die all the time for a variety of reasons. Waterfowl are susceptible to several diseases that cause mass mortalities: thousands of birds die every year in North America from diseases such as avian cholera, duck plague, and avian botulism (a field manual of wild bird diseases is available here). Just skim through this report posted by the United States Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center where die-offs of many thousands of waterfowl occur regularly.

Apparently more than 100,000 birds congregate on this lake every year. 8000 deaths is likely not only precedented, but possibly normal.

I repeat my earlier cautions. Assuming that these numbers are accurate, we don't know what killed these animals. Just because H5N1 was isolated there doesn't mean it killed every animal that dies.

Update: Dr. Niman is linking to photos apparently showing thousands of dead birds. To me, the nice, uniform spacing between birds, the resting and standing poses suggest that these are nesting birds (although there likely are dead birds in there - birds die all the time). This is what a waterfowl mortality event looks like to me.


At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chinese government has acknowleged that the bird sickness in that area is being caused by H5N1, and was likely brought there by migrating bar-headed geese. The gov't is rushing H5N1 vaccine to the area as well. That indicates to me that this is very likely H5N1. Also, in such a large group of birds, there should be some activity. There are no nests. there are few birds standing or walking, there are none flying. There are simply tons, and tons of birds lying on the ground. granted, there are no close-up photos, but the one you posted for comparison is of birds that washed up on the tide, that are already quite rotten. The timescale for this outbreak has not progressed to that point yet. These pictures look like what they are passed off as, sick birds.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger GoodDeed said...

Dear Blog Owner,
There are many questions that can be raised and conservative explanations for Qinqhai.

Any good defense lawyer would argue that there's no clear chain of custody. These pictures could be not only photoshopped but they could be from an entirely different location at a different time.

Your position is imo from a what is, is position. It's correct, until the circumstances change. You believe that the circumstances have not changed.

The Chinese have quarantined not only this region but all nature reserves. Smells like change?

The Chinese have placed a news blockade? Smells like change?

The Chinese have not allowed reporters to enter the area. Smells like change?

The Chinese have not proffered photo "one", never mind here two photos, of the situation on the ground.

There's no need for hysteria here at this time. But do you not find it antithetical to your open mind that there is no cooperation by the Chinese to allow in others, at least none that we know of, to also look and learn, when there is now such a high level of interest in this matter?

Further, if those birds caused human death, which may have occurred quickly, will you then be concerned?

What are the trigger points that will alter your view? Please list them, so as they do or do not get addressed, you will or will not be required to alter your current understanding?

Thanks for this great website. I'll add it to the very few that I examine re: avian influenza. It's a very well done presentation.


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