Fake Vaccine Possible Reason for Liaoning Bird Flu Epidemic
On November 6, a total of 1,100 chickens died in farms in Chaoyangsi Village of Daban Town, Fumeng County, Fuxin City, and Daling Village in Nanzhanxin District of Jinzhou City, both in Liaoning Province. China's National Bird Flu Laboratory confirmed on November 9th that the epidemic infection in these birds was the highly pathogenic H5N1 variant of the bird flu virus. Authorities have already sealed off areas within 1.86 miles of the two epidemic regions, killed 670,000 domestic fowl, and used disinfection among other precautionary measures.
When a reporter phoned the Jinzhou City bird flu control centre to inquire about the latest development, the staff said that all epidemic situations related to bird flu are centrally released by the concerned departments — they cannot answer questions from any individual media.
A Jinzhou resident told the Cantonese team of Radio Free Asia (RFA) that he / she is worried about the spread of bird flu and has recently stopped eating chicken and eggs.
A spokesman of the Regional Office for Western Pacific of the World Health Organization (WHO), who is attending a meeting in Kunming, said that he is worried about the expansion of the bird flu epidemic in Liaoning. He suspects that the continuing spread of bird flu despite vaccine injections for the local birds may be due to the use of a fake vaccine.
A staff member from the Liaoning Provincial Animal Disease Monitoring and Control Bureau information center told the Cantonese team of RFA that the use of a fake vaccine remains to be verified, but it is also possible the wrong vaccine had been used.
WHO will send specialists to Xiangtan City in Hunan Province this week to investigate three suspected human bird flu cases. One female patient among the three has already died. WHO staff will go to the local epidemic area next week to investigate the situation.
Specialists from China, Thailand and Vietnam held the first forum on human bird flu prevention and control in Beijing on November 10th. They recommended the three countries share information and technology and cooperate with each other to prevent a massive outbreak of bird flu. Experts from Hong Kong and Macao also attended the forum.
On November 10th, Director Wang Yu of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that WHO provided China with human bird flu virus obtained from Vietnam last May. They have completed their research and made a breakthrough in developing a human bird flu vaccine. Now they have finished the pre-clinical study and are awaiting the Medicine Surveillance Administrative Bureau’s approval to proceed with clinical tests to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety.