PDA

View Full Version : Disturbing report of China hiding 300 bird flu deaths



beskeptical
2005-Nov-23, 10:04 PM
Well gee... I thought I'd start some fearmongering. I could have kept it secret until confirmed. That would be the prudent thing to do under the circumstances, but what the heck. ;)
Date: Wed 23 Nov 2005
From: Christian Griot <christian.griot@ivi.admin.ch>
Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine, Tue 22 Nov 2005 [edited]
<http://www.faz.net/s/RubFC06D389EE76479E9E76425072B196C3/Doc%
7EE59730997A1B043CF80447F73E70BB84F%7EATpl%7EEcomm on%7EScontent.html>


WHO Avian Influenza Expert Says 300 Dead In China
-------------------------------------------------
Dr. Masato Tashiro, a Japanese WHO consultant, believes that China
has had 300 human deaths from avian influenza and is hiding the true
extent of the disease from the rest of the world. Dr. Masato Tashiro,
Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Influenza at the National
Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, and head of the Department
of Virology of the National Institute of Infectious Disease (Japan),
astonished colleagues with this information during a speech at a
recent retirement dinner for a fellow virologist, Hans-Dieter Klenk.

Having just returned from the Hunan province of China on behalf of the World
Health Organization (WHO), [Dr. Masato Tashiro] claimed that a reliable source
had provided him with details of the true nature of the H5N1 virus in
China. "We are systematically deceived," he is reported to have said.

Tashiro visited China on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) in
Hunan province. His laboratory, at the National Institute for Infection
Research in Tokyo, as one of the Asian points of contact for the United
Nations, had been particularly entrusted with investigations into avian
influenza in Asia and China. Dr. Masato gave his lecture in the University of
Marburg Clinic before some the most outstanding virologists in the world and
shocked the meeting with his unauthorized data [report] from inside China.

The Japanese virologist [said he] firmly believes in the reliability of the
source and its data. The secrecy of the Peking government is still causing
concern as it was at the beginning of the SARS epidemic disease, complained
Tashiro. At least 5 medical co-workers who should be reporting on the
situation in the provinces were arrested, and [other] publication-willing
researchers were threatened with punishments [he said].

--
Christian Griot
<christian.griot@ivi.admin.ch>

[There have been recurrent reports of human cases of avian influenza
in China. So far, none have been independently substantiated. This
report has more significance than most, coming from a WHO-supported
virologist. However, Dr. Tashiro's report is based on 2nd-hand
information and requires independent authentication. Further
information is requested. - Mod.CP]This is from a very reliable site, The Infectious Disease Society, daily e-mail alert system. (http://www.promedmail.org/pls/askus/f?p=2400:1001:16670301990815234081::NO::F2400_P100 1_BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,31158)** It is wise to heed their moderator's note of caution. The moderator is very wise.

What disturbs me the most will be if the reports are true about jailing medical providers. During the SARS outbreak I don't believe anyone was jailed. The government kept denying reports but the medical community was sending e-mail reports out that the IDS was passing on to everyone.

On the other hand, it is so unlikely China had only a few H5N1 cases. If their frequent exposure to precursor strains gave them a more immune population it would be possible. But it seemed odd.

Then there was the very eye opening (to me) response when SARS occurred. It was mind boggling the Chinese government officials really did have old fashioned people in power that truly either didn't understand the benefit of revealing the SARS problem or preferred to handle it internally purely for political ego. I don't mean that to stir up a political discussion. But those are the best words I can find to explain it. I can not fathom national ego when it means you cover up disasters of this nature. It's one thing to pretend your dam didn't fail, but quite another to pretend an epidemic isn't occurring.

With the SARS cases, the national government was much more forthcoming than the local guys. They even fired a mayor or two over it. The whole thing was difficult to understand from my cultural perspective.

I suppose, as here, their government leaders are not medical experts as ours aren't. That means we have non-scientists making decisions that would be much better if made by scientists.


But I digress...I suspect CNN and company will get wind of this by tonight's news. They do so love a disaster and a scandal.


**Note of caution: Don't sign up for their list serve. Instead bookmark the page and check it when you want to. The daily e-mails are constantly flooded with viruses. They seemed to take few precautions with their mailing list database.

sarongsong
2005-Nov-23, 10:32 PM
Ooh---good find; meanwhile, the official line remains:
November 22, 2005 (http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-11-23T175903Z_01_RID434598_RTRUKOC_0_US-BIRDFLU.xml&rpc=22)
"China said...a woman farmer had died...its second confirmed fatality..."

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-23, 10:36 PM
If true, it is spreading more rapidly then expected....we may be looking at a very serious problem:think:

LurchGS
2005-Nov-23, 10:42 PM
a very disturbing report, if true- on both levels

genebujold
2005-Nov-23, 10:48 PM
And of course China is saying "no way!" while the rest of the world holds out for their real information.

You know - this sounds a lot like SARS, where the first denied it, then...

then...

the...

th...

t...

...

..

.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-24, 04:22 AM
Any news people?

Titana
2005-Nov-24, 07:58 AM
UUUppssss! this is kind of scary.




Titana......

beskeptical
2005-Nov-24, 08:12 AM
As of an hour ago, (0100am EST, 11-24-05), CNN is sticking with the official Chinese report and made no mention of the information. Not that their reporters ever read the science blogs. So CNN may be waiting for that infamous second confirming source or they haven't noticed the report yet.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-24, 08:24 AM
Google search on Dr. Masato Tashiro (http://www.google.com/search?q=Dr.+Masato+Tashiro&sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official) indicates he is an upstanding scientist in the virology field.

He works for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health, Japan. (http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/organization/odoffices/oga/usjapan/panels/acute.htm)

Japanese CMSP Panel/Board Members
Dr. Masato Tashiro (1996- )
Director
Department of Viral Disease and Vaccine Control
National Institute of Infectious Diseases
4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama
Tokyo 208-0011, Japan

The Mission Statement (http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/organization/odoffices/oga/usjapan/pdf/7th_respiratory.pdf)

Cl1mh4224rd
2005-Nov-24, 08:45 AM
And of course China is saying "no way!" while the rest of the world holds out for their real information.

You know - this sounds a lot like SARS, where the first denied it, then...
"Oh my God! SARS!"

...and practically nothing happened (fortunately). :neutral:

--

I wouldn't put it past China to withhold information like that. Given fairly recent events it's obvious that they're very isolationist.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-24, 09:33 AM
"Oh my God! SARS!"

...and practically nothing happened (fortunately). :neutral:
....Yeah, heck, SARS only killed a couple hundred nurses, doctors, and other health care workers and left a few more of them disabled for life. That's practically nothing. It's so nice to know the public noticed.

SARS was indeed a VERY BIG deal and we dodged the bullet thanks to incredible advances in medical technology and some very hard work by some health care workers who were sent in before we figured out exactly how to protect them.

Had SARS happened just a few years earlier, you would not be so fortunate. Pandemic flu has some particular characteristics that will not be so easy to control as SARS. Mainly, almost all if not everyone with SARS was deathly ill. That meant they were easy to spot. Which then meant they could be isolated as well as all their contacts. Influenza will not be so consistent. In fact, there will be many people with mild symptoms that will go undetected and spread disease. Don't count on the same control as we had with SARS.

kucharek
2005-Nov-24, 09:37 AM
The German weekly Die Zeit has an interview with WHO's flu coordinator Klaus Stöhr on the subject.
http://www.zeit.de/online/2005/47/stoehr_interview (in German)
He assumes, that Tashiro was misquoted, that he talked about hoax sites on the web and used an example. The WHO is permanently scanning the web for new information related to diseases and the figures attributed to Tashiro have been known to be a hoax source before.
The big difference to SARS is, that now the WHO is in China. And I think, the Chinese government has learnt in a positive way from the information disaster with SARS.

Harald

beskeptical
2005-Nov-24, 09:40 AM
Here's the original source of information (http://www.faz.net/s/RubFC06D389EE76479E9E76425072B196C3/Doc%7EE59730997A1B043CF80447F73E70BB84F%7EATpl%7EE common%7EScontent.html) which I cannot read. If anyone can read it I'd appreciate being filled in where this translation (http://www.google.com/search?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.faz.net%2Fs%2FRubFC06D38 9EE76479E9E76425072B196C3%2FDoc%257EE59730997A1B04 3CF80447F73E70BB84F%257EATpl%257EEcommon%257EScont ent.html&sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official) leaves off. (Go to the Google link and click on translate this page.)

It looks like of the 300 cases, 7 might have been person to person. It also looks like the source confided in the good doctor and he vouches for that source. Since the expert likely had contact with colleagues, I do find the report somewhat credible. If the IDS moderator didn't think it was a credible story, he/she would have said so. They post news reports all the time with comments about the report's lack of credibility.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-24, 09:58 AM
The German weekly Die Zeit has an interview with WHO's flu coordinator Klaus Stöhr on the subject.
http://www.zeit.de/online/2005/47/stoehr_interview (in German)
He assumes, that Tashiro was misquoted, that he talked about hoax sites on the web and used an example. The WHO is permanently scanning the web for new information related to diseases and the figures attributed to Tashiro have been known to be a hoax source before.
The big difference to SARS is, that now the WHO is in China. And I think, the Chinese government has learnt in a positive way from the information disaster with SARS.

HaraldI await your help reading the source I posted. In the mean time, IDS is very good about posting corrections. If the doctor was mis-quoted or a hoax occurred there will be many folks who know and will notify the moderator. Chances are high the doctor himself will respond.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-24, 09:30 PM
And we have the answer (http://www.promedmail.org/pls/askus/f?p=2400:1001:3522178732701268500::NO::F2400_P1001 _BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,31164), so nevermind kucharek.


Date: Thu 24 Nov 2005
From: "Masato Tashiro, NIID JPN" <mtashiro@nih.go.jp>


Statement from Dr. Masato Tashiro
---------------------------------
I am surprised to read the report in ProMED-mail, Avian influenza,human - East
Asia (180): China, RFI [part 1] {archive number 20051123.3399).

First of all, it is not correct. Therefore, I would ask you to correct it.

In my presentation at the meeting in Marburg, I stated that WHO's
official numbers of H5N1 human cases are only based on laboratory
confirmed cases. It should be therefore an iceberg phenomenon. Due
to poorly organized surveillance and information sharing systems in
many affected countries including China, it is reasonable to consider
that more cases have occurred actually. We have heard many 'rumors'
or unauthorized information which we cannot confirm. In this context,
I talked about a few examples of non-authorized information and rumors
about Asian countries which I received through private channels. I
clarified that I do not know the original sources and I cannot confirm
whether they are true, how these numbers were derived and what
laboratory tests and epidemiological investigation were done.

Therefore, the article cited in ProMed-mail is incorrect and
misleading. I did not receive any interview during my stay in Germany.
I did not say anything that I believe the figures of the unauthorized
information.

My message at the meeting was that international societies should help
China to establish and perform nationwide surveillance and information
sharing systems. I do not think that the Chinese Authority will
conceal the facts from the world. Since the SARS event, they are
collaborative to WHO. But they may have still limited capacity to
monitor all human cases particularly in rural areas.

--
Masato Tashiro, NIID JPN
WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Surveillance on Influenza,
National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo
<mtashiro@nih.go.jp>

[The article published in the Tue 22 Nov 2005 edition of the Frankfurter
Allgemeine, a reputable German newspaper, was referred to ProMED-mail
independently by two reliable correspondents. ProMED-mail was not able to
verify the accuracy of the newspaper report prior to posting and we
regret propagating inaccurate information [but see [2] below]. The hysteria
surrounding the outbreaks of HPAI H5N1 avian influenza in East Asia, and the
associated threat of an imminent pandemic of human influenza, has generated a
great deal of misinformation fueled by journalists competing to establish a
presence in the field, particularly with regard to events in the People's
Republic of China. We are grateful to Dr. Tashiro for clarifying his
position. - Mod.CP]

[2]
Date: 24 Nov 2005
From: Arnon Shimshony <arnon@promedmail.org>


The Israeli daily "Haaretz" included the following information in a front-page
article earlier today [24 Nov 2005] (translation from Hebrew):

"One of the participants in the meeting, Prof Hans-Dieter Klenk from Marburg
University in Germany, confirmed -- in an interview with "Haaretz"
yesterday [23 Nov 2005] -- the quote from Dr Masato Tashiro of the Japanese
Ministry of Health. "Dr Masato presented a well-detailed table, in Chinese,
which included more than 300 human fatalities, resulting from avian influenza,
recorded in China during recent years", said Prof Klenk yesterday. "He
[namely Tashiro - A.S.] said that he had received the unofficial report during
his visit to China in recent weeks", said Klenk". End translated passage.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine, Dr Masato sharply criticised the
Chinese authorities, saying they are "deliberately misleading the West"; this
was denied by Prof Klenk. [As I understand it, the denial means that the said
criticism was not said by Masato - A.S.].

Assaf Uni, the "Haaretz" reporter who interviewed Klenk, is a reputable one.

--
Arnon Shimshony
ProMED-mail Animal Disease and Zoonoses Moderator
Associate-Professor, Koret School of Veterinary Medicine
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
<arnon@promedmail.org>

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-24, 09:42 PM
Yeah, heck, SARS only killed a couple hundred nurses, doctors, and other health care workers and left a few more of them disabled for life. That's practically nothing. It's so nice to know the public noticed.

SARS was indeed a VERY BIG deal and we dodged the bullet thanks to incredible advances in medical technology and some very hard work by some health care workers who were sent in before we figured out exactly how to protect them.

Had SARS happened just a few years earlier, you would not be so fortunate. Pandemic flu has some particular characteristics that will not be so easy to control as SARS. Mainly, almost all if not everyone with SARS was deathly ill. That meant they were easy to spot. Which then meant they could be isolated as well as all their contacts. Influenza will not be so consistent. In fact, there will be many people with mild symptoms that will go undetected and spread disease. Don't count on the same control as we had with SARS.

http://www.masternewmedia.org/2003/04/24/sars_separating_fact_from_fiction.htm

Well, debunk THIS! Let's see if your debunk-fu is greater than mine... er, this guy's!

HIYA!

(Note: I just found this on google, so I don't really know if it's a reliable source. So be warned. Reading it over, it seems pretty biased and "anti-establishment"... still, are the figures wrong?)

Argos
2005-Nov-24, 10:33 PM
I can&#180;t understand how come such an explosive rumor like this hasn&#180;t made its way onto the tabloid headlines.

galacsi
2005-Nov-24, 11:36 PM
There is no mad cow in China ! . . . er . . . there is no mad cow in America ! Only bird flue in China !

Hey don't misunderstand me ! There is no mad cow in France too !

And when Chernobyl exploded, radiations completely controled by our government , just stay behind the Border !

Poor , poor chineses can't you see , how happy we are , living in democratic countries !

kashi
2005-Nov-25, 12:31 AM
I'm very sceptical about this. For all we know that Japanese guy could be trying to create an atmosphere of fear which will drive up the share price of the anti-viral drug manufacturing company that he is heavily invested in. Japan has enough of its own bird flu problems. They shouldn't be pointing the finger just yet...

kucharek
2005-Nov-25, 11:38 AM
And we have the answer (http://www.promedmail.org/pls/askus/f?p=2400:1001:3522178732701268500::NO::F2400_P1001 _BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,31164), so nevermind kucharek.

If I understand correctly, he confirms what was said by the interviewee in the "Die Zeit", that he just showed examples for unconfirmed rumours?

Harald

beskeptical
2005-Nov-25, 07:34 PM
I'm very sceptical about this. For all we know that Japanese guy could be trying to create an atmosphere of fear which will drive up the share price of the anti-viral drug manufacturing company that he is heavily invested in. Japan has enough of its own bird flu problems. They shouldn't be pointing the finger just yet...I think we know enough about this reputable person who has a very long public track record that you paranoia is misplaced here.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-25, 07:39 PM
If I understand correctly, he confirms what was said by the interviewee in the "Die Zeit", that he just showed examples for unconfirmed rumours?

Harald
Thanks.

I think that is becoming the clearer picture. It doesn't make the numbers true or false. Judging from the SARS events I'd conclude tentatively that the numbers are possible but rather than government cover up, it is lack of diagnostic capability in rural China combined with a few 'old school cover up believing' local officials and a few farmers covering up for economic reasons.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-25, 09:34 PM
http://www.masternewmedia.org/2003/04/24/sars_separating_fact_from_fiction.htm

Well, debunk THIS! Let's see if your debunk-fu is greater than mine... er, this guy's!

HIYA!

(Note: I just found this on google, so I don't really know if it's a reliable source. So be warned. Reading it over, it seems pretty biased and "anti-establishment"... still, are the figures wrong?)First, these numbers were very early on in the epidemic, and second, the news is a secondary source of information. It's best to try to find original sources of information.

There is a common misconception that since the SARS epidemic was controlled that it never was as bad as first feared. Had the SARS outbreak occurred even a decade earlier, this misconception would not be the case. The world would know what those of us in infectious disease specialties know, we didn't dodge a bullet, we dodged the A-bomb.

The means of control was the world's public heath systems that were able to find every case and every contact of every case and isolate them until there were no more cases. We've had this capability in Western countries for decades but in the third world it is a new development.

No, you weren't at risk traveling to Toronto. That response was unnecessary. But you were at risk, had we failed to contain the outbreak, of being one of the millions that could have been infected eventually. Remember, one guy spread the infection to 9 others by passing them in a hotel elevator. Those nine subsequently flew off to multiple countries.

Had there been very many of such cases people could have been exposed randomly who had casual but close contact with the infected persons. For example, handing a clerk some change in a store, sitting next to the person on the plane, opening the door to the bathroom the guy just walked into ahead of you and so on could have been sources of transmission had the epidemic gotten out of control.

So what are the reasons I say this? Here are the facts from primary sources.

CDC's website (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/)

During November 2002--July 2003, a total of 8,098 probable SARS cases were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from 29 countries, including 29 cases from the United States; 774 SARS-related deaths (case-fatality rate: 9.6%) were reported..

WHO table (http://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/table2004_04_21/en/index.html)
1706 of the 8096 were health care workers, with 9.6% fatality rate that is ~162 deaths from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003, only 9 months! Canada had 43 deaths of which 43% of the cases were health care workers. I haven't found the exact number of health care worker deaths, but I do know in addition to one worker, their spouse also died. Taking an infection home to a loved one is particularly frightening.

And in addition to the fatalities, most of the survivors have permanent serious complications like lung damage from SARS and bone pain and loss from large amounts of steroids used to save them. Many spent weeks to months in intensive care units and on ventilators.

Toronto report (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/sars-sras/pef-dep/sars-es20030426_e.html)

More than 100 hospital workers at three GTA hospitals have since become ill. Initial descriptive epidemiology suggests that transmission occurred in association with the care of patients who were not diagnosed with SARS and were not in isolation precautions, as well as ill family members visiting in hospital.

...Since implementation of these control strategies, transmission of SARS to hospital workers has decreased substantially. However, transmission has continued to occur in both high and low risk hospital settings within the GTA despite these measures. High risk procedures have been identified which include intubation, suction, nebulized aerosol therapy, and positive pressure non-invasive ventilation. Transmission of SARS to hospital staff during difficult intubation of SARS patients has occurred in 3 different hospitals. In two, undiagnosed patients were identified as the source of transmission for 7 hospital staff. Although infection control precautions were in place, compliance may not have been complete. In the third, a SARS patient was identified as the source of infection for 7 hospital staff; an additional 6 remain under investigation. Although staff were reportedly compliant with infection control precautions, one break in technique in one caregiver was identified (a face shield was accidentally dislodged). Transmission of SARS to 10-11 hospital staff has also been identified in lower risk settings. Affected staff include physicians, nurses, and service assistants (eg porter/housekeeper) working in 4 different low-risk SARS units and one community hospital. Initial investigation suggests that transmission has occurred while staff were wearing required personal protective equipment and following all recommended infection control precautions.(emphasis mine)

CLUSTER OF SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CASES AMONG PROTECTED HEALTH CARE WORKERS - TORONTO, APRIL 2003 (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/03vol29/dr2911ea.html)
The index patient was a Canadian family physician...

among 144 cases in Toronto, 73 (51%) were HCWs...This cluster is part of a larger number of cases in HCWs in hospitals in the greater Toronto area who have become infected while caring for SARS patients since directives for contact, droplet, and airborne precautions were instituted at the provincial level on 28 March...

report (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/03vol29/dr2913ea.html)

The majority of cases were associated with a ward used primarily for orthopedic patients (14 rooms) and gynecology patients (seven rooms). Nursing staff members used a common nursing station, shared a washroom, and ate together in a lounge just outside the ward. SARS attack rates among nurses assigned routinely to the orthopedic and gynecology sections of the ward were approximately 40% and 25% respectively.

How would you feel if 40% of the people an your job site come down with a deadly disease? In modern times there has never been anything like this in health care. If we can't protect ourselves even with strict isolation procedures, then one is talking about a disease that is extremely contagious at least some of the time.

Another consideration is this epidemic killed at least 8,000 in only 9 months time and with extreme control measures such as sealing a Taiwan hospital with staff and patients alike inside until no new cases were occurring. You have to consider what the attack rate is over what amount of time to compare risks of infectious diseases. Who gets it, where, what percentage of those exposed, and what percent is fatal. Rabies is 100% fatal but only a few people are ever exposed. The 1918 flu may have killed as few as 3% in the USA but as many as 50% of the population was exposed. (rough guess numbers for example only)

In addition to all this there were a few thousand unreported cases that occurred before the disease was recognized and patients counted. I first heard about SARS from my IDS site a few months earlier than the hotel elevator event. Doctors were e-mailing the reports of a very serious respiratory disease with a high death rate in Guandong Province in China that was "killing health care workers".

In Taiwan there was an unusual outbreak incident in a 38 story apartment complex that wasn't understood until long after the epidemic was over. SARS virus was being aerosolized and spreading through a subsequently contaminated sewer system that ran through the building. The virus was entering people's apartments via contaminated pipes. When you see a deadly infection spreading and you can't figure out the source, 'concern' is an understatement.


In summary, we had a highly infectious disease (even if it wasn't so in all cases), with a high attack rate, it had a very high morbidity and mortality rate (who got very sick and/or died), it was infecting the people who were using isolation procedures (meaning it was going to be very hard to control), and it had many many unknowns. That is a very serious situation. Just because we did a very good job of controlling it doesn't mean the initial warnings were overkill.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-26, 08:53 AM
And a further clarification:

IDS site (http://www.promedmail.org/pls/askus/f?p=2400:1001:6931795956707460668::NO::F2400_P1001 _BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,31183)

[In view of conflicting reports in the media about what Dr Masato Tashiro
actually said in Germany, ProMED sent him some questions, to which he has
kindly replied -- see below. - Mod.JW]

Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 08:36:53 +0900
From: "Masato Tashiro, NIID JPN" <mtashiro@nih.go.jp>


Thank you for your mail. My answers are:

1) you were indeed in Hunan Province

No, I was not there this time.

2) the dates you were there

I have visited there before.

3) you were part of a WHO mission

I was not a member of the WHO mission this time.

4) you showed a slide in Germany showing more than 300 deaths from avian flu

As an example of unauthorized information, I showed a slide which I received
from a private source. This indicates more than 200 deaths distributed in
several provinces.

5) you were told that 7 of the cases resulted from human-to-human transmission.

The information I received indicated some human-to-human transmission cases,
although details were not clear.

Regards,

Masato Tashiro
NIID, Tokyo
It is amazing how the news reporting really is so much like the game of telephone. Apparently this guy's little talk raised quite the stir. The following post on the site included a denial by China of hiding any cases, and a note about where the information had been published.

China is not covering up any human cases of bird flu, and the Japanese expert
has never visited China on a WHO mission, the WHO spokesman confirmed,
according to Mao. The Japanese expert, Masato Tashiro, said last week in
Germany that avian influenza has killed 300 people in China, including 7 cases
caused by human-to-human transmission, according to reports on the Internet
portals including "New Scientist" and "WorldNet daily".

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 08:54 AM
A lot of stuff that will take me forever to read through

Your debunk-fu is strong. I admit defeat.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-26, 09:02 AM
Your debunk-fu is strong. I admit defeat.Thank you. I'm sensitive about health care workers' infectious disease risks. We've been short changed on protection for years.

"Here, put on this surgical mask that was never designed to protect workers and go in that room where that patient has a deadly airborne infectious disease."

and

"Of course we don't need to make those simple changes to those needles to make them safer. You need to be more careful with those needles that are contaminated with a deadly blood borne disease."

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 09:04 AM
Thank you. I'm sensitive about health care workers' infectious disease risks. We've been short changed on protection for years.

"Here, put on this surgical mask that was never designed to protect workers and go in that room where that patient has a deadly airborne infectious disease."

and

"Of course we don't need to make those simple changes to those needles to make them safer. You need to be more careful with those needles that are contaminated with a deadly blood borne disease."

I'm sorry, man. I didn't mean to short-change what happens to the health care workers. I'm all for reducing the risk that workers have to go through.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Nov-26, 07:21 PM
"Of course we don't need to make those simple changes to those needles to make them safer. You need to be more careful with those needles that are contaminated with a deadly blood borne disease."

Oh, it may interest you to know that recently there's been some pressure up here for the provincial government to make safety needles mandatory in all cases. I'm all for it.

Doodler
2005-Nov-26, 08:15 PM
Gotta love China. They deserve whatever fate befalls them over this mess. This one ranks right up there with denying the WHO permission to treat SARS in Taiwan because they were all bent because it would be allowing the UN to acknowledge their independence.

Utterly irresponsible.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 08:34 PM
Gotta love China. They deserve whatever fate befalls them over this mess.

Wait. Do you mean the countless deaths that will probably result? Wouldn't that be the people of a land paying for the decisions of politicians? The people deserve to die because of the decisions of the higher ups?

Doodler
2005-Nov-26, 08:47 PM
Wait. Do you mean the countless deaths that will probably result? Wouldn't that be the people of a land paying for the decisions of politicians? The people deserve to die because of the decisions of the higher ups?


Not exactly the one I had in mind. I was thinking that st some point, the Chinese people are going to get sincerely fed up with these idjits in Beijing and hold them accountable in a manner not so easily suppressed as Tiannamen. How would you feel about your government so egregiously mishandling information like this that could result in the deaths of tens of millions, if not hundreds?

Their attitude on this kind of thing is bordering, if not WELL OVER the border, on absurd.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 09:01 PM
Not exactly the one I had in mind. I was thinking that st some point, the Chinese people are going to get sincerely fed up with these idjits in Beijing and hold them accountable in a manner not so easily suppressed as Tiannamen.

Okay. Sorry, knee-jerk reaction from me.


How would you feel about your government so egregiously mishandling information like this that could result in the deaths of tens of millions, if not hundreds?

I'd feel pretty darn angry. Just like I feel angry at how the Katrina situation was handled.


Their attitude on this kind of thing is bordering, if not WELL OVER the border, on absurd.

Agreed

Doodler
2005-Nov-26, 09:24 PM
To be honest, Beijing's attitude is very likely going to kill a lot of people when something finally does flare up. This is twice now they've pulled this stunt, they weren't exactly forthcoming with SARS, either.

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Nov-26, 09:35 PM
How would you feel about your government so egregiously mishandling information like this that could result in the deaths of tens of millions, if not hundreds?
Well, they did that before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_leap_forward).
They are still around, they're adept at political survival,
50 years of survival of the fittest will do that.

Doodler
2005-Nov-26, 09:45 PM
Well, they did that before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_leap_forward).
They are still around, they're adept at political survival,
50 years of survival of the fittest will do that.

Yeesh...not much I can say to that. :(

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 10:20 PM
25 million people o_O

Jeeeeez.

James_Digriz
2005-Nov-27, 06:46 AM
Read this about the overreaction of the media to the bird flu:

Fuss and Feathers
Pandemic Panic over the Avian Flu (http://www.fumento.com/disease/flu2005.html)

The most important point is that the bird flu causing all the hysteria (H5N1) dates back to 1959 so there's no reason to think its going to cause a pandemic in the next few years or more. No more so then any other flu that could mutate into a pandemic strain. There is no such thing as helpful hysteria. And as usual that's what the media is best at.

The deaths reported so far come from countries that have abysmal heath care systems compared to the States. Plus, the 50% death rate is from people who were already sick enough to be hospitalized. There are millions of people infected with H5N1 and they have somehow managed not to drop dead over the years.

All this hysteria and misinformation will cause us to have our guard down when something serious comes along we really need to pay attention to.

Your more likely to die from heart disease so turn off the TV and put down the paper and go get some exercise.

beskeptical
2005-Nov-27, 09:12 PM
Read this about the overreaction of the media to the bird flu:

Fuss and Feathers
Pandemic Panic over the Avian Flu (http://www.fumento.com/disease/flu2005.html)

The most important point is that the bird flu causing all the hysteria (H5N1) dates back to 1959 so there's no reason to think its going to cause a pandemic in the next few years or more. No more so then any other flu that could mutate into a pandemic strain. There is no such thing as helpful hysteria. And as usual that's what the media is best at.

The deaths reported so far come from countries that have abysmal heath care systems compared to the States. Plus, the 50% death rate is from people who were already sick enough to be hospitalized. There are millions of people infected with H5N1 and they have somehow managed not to drop dead over the years.

All this hysteria and misinformation will cause us to have our guard down when something serious comes along we really need to pay attention to.

Your more likely to die from heart disease so turn off the TV and put down the paper and go get some exercise.
This reporter is clearly unqualified to assess the information he is reporting on. Flu has been around forever. That doesn't stop new variations from emerging relatively often and still causing for all intents and purposes a new pandemic.

As I said before, you have to add the death rate to the attack rate. Three % of half the world is more than 100% of a handful of people.

And, yes, you are more likely to die of heart disease and cancer or whatever. That's because we all die eventually of something. But that isn't the same as millions of young people dying over a period of a few months.

We only know a pandemic like the one we saw less than 100 years ago is almost certainly going to occur again. We only know this strain of flu is closer to being the one that will do it than we've seen since 1918. If this reporter wants to judge that as nothing to worry about, that's his prerogative. But it's mine to say he's ignorant in this case.

In the meantime, I'll respond to his points in more detail when I have time later.