Attention to Bird Flu in China Increases

March 30, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: March 30, 2006 12:00 am

In the past few months China has not published any records of a bird flu outbreak.

However, in the last month, more people in China have died from the bird flu, including a 32-year-old male from Guangdong Province and a 29-year-old female from Shanghai City. These victims of disease lived near the city, so where did they become infected with bird flu? This has attracted greater attention from the outside world.

Hong Kong's newspaper The Sun published a commentary today that pointed out, over two years ago during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, in exchange for their lives, the Chinese people learned a lesson—an epidemic situation cannot be concealed, or it will cause irreparable loss or damage. However, from the way the Chinese communist regime has dealt with the bird flu epidemic, the officials have seemingly suffered from collective memory loss and completely forgotten this lesson.

The article stated that in the past few months bird flu has quietly attacked China. So far, reportedly 16 people have been infected and 11 have died. However, local authorities have blocked this information each time and only published the news of the bird flu virus several days after the infected person's death. The authorities have organized the cleaning and disinfecting work so secretly that the people living nearby have no clue and their vigilance cannot be stimulated. People can only be aware after the Chinese regime release the news—this is the same thing that happened at the beginning of the SARS outbreaks in China.

According to a BBC report, analysts believe it is possible that the Chinese communist regime fails to report the details of an incident. Local Chinese authorities block all information in fear that the local economy will be affected if the news is publicized. In addition, officials are afraid their political records may be tarnished. Under the enforcement of “[social] stability overrides all other considerations,” some provincial and municipal officials, and even some central departments, countenance such behavior.

Over the past several months, Beijing authorities have warned the public not to come into contact with ill chickens or those that had died from the bird flu. In order to control the proliferation of bird flu, over 13 billion chickens were ordered to receive vaccines. Yet experts warn that not only does this precaution fail to prevent the spread of bird flu, but it can allow the virus to spread as a recessive gene so that chickens appear healthy on the surface but could still be a carrier of the virus. Now it seemed that contact might not even have been made with “healthy” chickens.

There are signs that the bird flu has already spread around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has appealed to various countries to be prepared for a potential outbreak. Since 2003 the bird flu has exploded again—over 185 people worldwide have been infected and 105 people have died. The infected are mostly from Asia and the Middle East.