Thursday, January 8, 2009

Poultry-Free Diet

China has reported a 19 year-old woman in Beijing died from avian flu or the H5N1 virus after she bought and gutted ducks from Hebei Province.

Health experts have gone around the Chinese capital as well as Tianjin and Hebei Province, testing for the virus.

And so far, China's agriculture ministry says there have been no other cases of avian flu found. "After tests for the virus and an epidemiological investigation, no trace of the bird flu virus was found in these three areas."

The woman's death is the first in the country in almost a year, the 21st reported to date by China.

However, foreign and domestic have not said whether health authorities have culled any fowl, especially the ones that were where the woman bought the infected ducks.

If this had happened in Hong Kong, there would have been an immediate culling of birds anywhere near the area where the bird flu virus was found. Confirming the presence of the H5N1 virus is only possible through autopsies as far as I know, that there is no way to test live fowl for the virus.

However, the only thing the ministry has done is to ban live poultry from entering Beijing, except those that are certified by the city's animal disease control authorities.

Does Beijing's authorities have sophisticated tests to check every live fowl that enters the city? And how do they determine if live poultry is certified? By showing a piece of paper?

The city should be cooperating with the World Health Organization in this incident to prevent the spread of the virus or further cases from popping up in the near future.

In the meantime, most Beijing residents must be worried about eating poultry, after fears of melamine in milk and eggs.

We're having fewer food options in Beijing these days.

Talk about an incentive for weight loss...


Anonymous said...

Interesting that China has not had issues with fresh produce like we have had in Canada.

hosikah said...

or maybe, China just doesn't report the issues like Canada does. I still think you're brave living there. I would be too scared to eat anything!

Anonymous said...

things are not as bad once you are living there. you just get used to it. but china really need to clear up it act