Like A Time Bomb -Tick, Tick, Tick - The H5N1 Bird Flu Season Begins
This may be the first major report of this winter season watch on the potential of a bird flu epidemic as was the case last year at this time.
Not to be alarmist, but get your N95 masks & canned foods laid in, water stock piles planned, migratory bird paths marked out, and have a plan where the potentials for contact are greatly reduced. If this threat is real ... you will be glad you did.
This from News-Medical.Net -
South Korea to cull pigs, cats and dogs as well as poultry, to stop bird flu
News-Medical.Net, Disease/Infection News - Published: Tuesday, 28-Nov-2006
In an attempt to halt the further spread of the current outbreak of bird flu in South Korea, as well as culling 236,000 poultry, the Agriculture Ministry also plans to cull hundreds of pigs, dogs and cats in the area.
As experts believe humans cannot contract bird flu from cats and dogs, the measure is viewed by many as an overreaction and not a decision based on scientific evidence.
South Korea contends that other countries also slaughters cats and dogs but do not reveal the fact.
The only country which has culled animals other than poultry to halt the spread of the virus is Indonesia which has killed pigs.
South Korea officials hope this will effectively end the country's first outbreak in three years of the highly virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu.
All poultry will be culled within a 500-metre radius of a farm in North Cholla province, about 170 km from Seoul, where the avian influenza strain has been detected.
Quarantine authorities have also banned the shipment of more than 5 million poultry from 221 farms within a 10-km radius of the farm and destroyed as many as 6 million eggs.
South Korea's poultry industry has again been badly hit by the outbreak as it was in the 4 month period between December 2003 and March 2004, when as many as 400,000 poultry at South Korean farms were infected by bird flu.
That outbreak prompted the culling of 5.3 million birds at a cost of 1.5 trillion to prevent the disease spreading.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, since 2003 as many as 50 countries and territories have been affected and millions of birds have died or been culled.
The World Health Organisation estimates to date that 153 people have died from the virus and another 258 have been sickened.
Most of the victims were Asians, with 98 deaths in Vietnam and Indonesia.
North Korea too is on a high alert and has increased measures to prevent bird flu.
Following an outbreak of bird flu at two poultry farms near Pyongyang in February 2005, North Korea says it inoculated poultry and increased checks along its borders.
As a precaution Japan and Hong Kong have 'temporarily' suspended poultry imports from South Korea.
Ahhhh!, no chicken for Tempura or Kung Pao!