Friday, August 5

H5N1: Clear and Present Danger vs Tinfoil Hat

(12:30 PM, EDT update is posted at the end of this essay. This post builds on discussion in earlier Pundita posts over the past few days.) has reprinted a translation of a BBS story about the three village bulldozings.

These villages are in Qinghai region (site of mass duck deaths from H5N1 at Qinghai Lake in May) and seem to be connected with H5N1, not a mutated form of Ebola.

However, this is another indication of why the situation is so confusing: it reflects seemingly two different infectious diseases. Unless we are dealing with a mutated form of H5N1 mixed with a form of Ebola virus. I applaud Yale's courage in considering that possibility; Pundita is just not ready to run that far with reports of an outbreak in China of Ebola virus or a mutated form. In my view, the entire story is in danger of collapsing from confusing/ conflicting sets of data. isn't helping by putting up a story speculating that the Qinghai outbreak is connected with China's biowar program.

One item that is not speculation: we're now just weeks from the date that the wild birds/fowl resting at Qinghai start their migration again, which can cross them with migrating flocks from US and Europe. See the (UK) Guardian piece: Avian flu casts shadow over beauty of China's bird lake.

I would put nothing past China's military, including gross incompetance at managing their biowar experiments. But Rense's post about biowar makes it easy to dismiss as Tinfoil Hat any sober discussion about possible mutations of H5N1. That drains impetus for the US public to pressure Congress to pressure China to allow outside agencies to collect data on the most recent outbreaks. Yet pressure of this kind is the critical need at this time.

Ebola mutations aside, it is beyond question that H5N1 is on the loose. Attempts to stamp it out through flock cullings and vaccination of chickens have not worked to this date.

Thus far, no hard data that H5N1 has exchanged genetic material with a virus or bacteria infecting swine. But swine are the laboratory for mixing bird virus mutations that can readily exchange genetic material with human viruses. From there, we're looking at H2H (human to human transmission).

So unless China and all other countries fully cooperate in sharing data, H2H of mutated H5N1 (with or without mixture with Ebola virus) can get the jump on humanity, even as early as this fall.

Here is the link to the English version of

Note the refreshing language attached to one update: "Unofficial messages (as people post the messages may face punishment, it is better to believe what they say)."

Well, if Pundita is not a believing sort, we do take the comments seriously.

One anonymous Boxun poster has this brief and somewhat cryptic news:

"Jingdezhen, JiangXi Province has this disease now."

Which disease? The X Virus or H5N1? We can only wonder.

But for readers who like to stick pins on maps, we have Guangdong and Sichuan provinces where pigs seem to be flying, and now possibly JiangXi.

And for readers who love to plow through message boards, you might want to plow through the recent messages relating to H5N1 and X Virus posted on the Pro Med message board, which is associated with the International Society for Infectious Diseases. One senses from some messages that at least some in the field are making an effort to wend their way through the tangle of China's official version of X Virus.

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