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Rumors for 2009 Part Deux

by: Bronco Bill

Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 08:20:28 AM EST

We've all heard something about something from someone about something they heard from someone else about Bird Flu and Pandemics.
Bronco Bill :: Rumors for 2009 Part Deux
Post your stories here about what you've heard...unsubstantiated rumors about Bird Flu or Avian Influenza that haven't been in the news and haven't been confirmed by any news source...

The previous Rumors diary is here

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It's my favorite part of Flu wiki, and it's been sooooo slow.

Rumors are definitely more fun when folks share them.

Unfortunately, I've been out of the loop with my biotech friends, so haven't heard any good juicy ones.

I wonder if aduckorangemercury has heard anything lately?

Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...

Rumor from PFI
Pablo, Snowhound on PFI posted this and you might find it interesting:

Pixie wrote over in the financial page...several pages back:

One thing your post did, Okieman, was to bring me way back to 2005 and Tashiro's chart. Remember that? The stir it caused when he pulled out a chart at a conference in Germany that dryly claimed that China had experienced more than 300 cases of H5N1 by that date, several of them H2H? (I still remember where I was when I learned that Chinese symbol for H2H). I ripped that chart off the net and drove straight down to some Chinese friends for help with translation. They translated the chart. Ok, that was pretty alarming, what it said - maybe more than 300 cases already. But what they then said was more alarming. Oh yeah, they remarked, we know about this. You do?, said I! Yes, that virus is everywhere (in China). In humans?, asked I. Yeah - said they - it's everywhere. So this is not at all shocking news to you?, asked I. No, they said, everybody knows. And they shrugged. (They shrugged!). We were in a business that one of them owns at the time, there were maybe six or seven other staff members standing around watching this exchange. And they all looked non-plussed and nodded in agreement, calmly. Like it was no big deal. It certainly was not news to them. And I had thought I'd been bringing them some very interesting news. Nope. So, I think the Chinese people know, and they deal with it. I don't think this is a revelation to them.

I found this of particular interest because a couple of years ago, I posted on the Rumours thread about a discussion I had with an American/Egyptian who told me basically the exact same thing about Egypt.

I think we really have no idea, or even a ball park figure of human cases, in a great many countries...

Why China is coming "out of the closet" now is, at best, more than just a little disconcerting. Cool In fact it may be "unprecedented". Laughing
- - - - - - - End of PFI post - - - - - -

IF indeed H5N1 has been circulating widely in birds and humans for years, does that suggest it is REALLY hard for it to go efficiently pandemic? Or does it just mean we should double our preps and be more worried?  

here's a rumor, just in
I had a conversation with someone with significant scientific knowledge about viruses, who told me about a colleague recently returned from Beijing who said there're reports of outbreaks of SARS cases in China.  This person (the one who returned from China) apparently said it was big news over there.

When I queried whether this was H5N1 or SARS, my informant is pretty sure SARS is what he heard, but he will check back with his colleague.  

I'll post if I get any more information.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

Now THAT'S a rumour !
Is the set up of fever clinics connected?

Hangzhou to strengthen bird flu prevention and control must be pre-treated patients at diagnosis

By (Xinhua correspondent Zhang Shu??) Recently, Hangzhou City Health Bureau to strengthen bird flu prevention and control issued a notice recently to major hospitals in Hangzhou patients, it is necessary to go to pre-Desk triage, measuring body temperature, asked about the history of and poultry, such as a history of exposure. Body temperature above 38 ? and with a cold, cough patients need to fever clinics.

Been reported throughout the sporadic cases of avian flu after the January 20, Zhejiang Province Health Department issued in accordance with contingency plans for the orange warning, at the same time issued a "pneumonia of unknown causes on the strengthening of monitoring cases of emergency notification." At present, Zhejiang Province, there is no cases of pneumonia of unknown causes and human bird flu report.

Hangzhou, assured the public that Health Bureau, Health Bureau has set up in Hangzhou unexplained pneumonia prevention and treatment expert group. If the outbreak, patients admitted to the venue have been finalized arrangements for the emergency center from 120 specialized personnel and vehicles.

At present, the various medical institutions in Hangzhou norms set up fever clinics; strictly enforce the pre-triage system; Group of Experts on the establishment of hospital diagnosis difficult cases; strengthening outbreak detection and reporting of information.

Hangzhou set up fever clinics of major hospitals are:

Hangzhou First People's Hospital, fever outpatient telephone 87065701-20185

Second People's Hospital of Hangzhou, fever outpatient telephone 88303599

Hangzhou Third People's Hospital, fever outpatient telephone 87823197

Hangzhou, the Fourth Hospital, fever clinics Tel 86059888-6142

Hangzhou Red Cross Hospital, fever outpatient telephone 56109810

Chinese medicine hospital in Hangzhou, fever outpatient Tel 85827505


[ Parent ]
I think there is some increase in vigilance for sure
but how much of that is related to actual increase in cases, and how much is precautionary, is hard to tell.

It's like this: when some government (any government) suddenly takes action about something, you don't know whether that is an indication of increased risk or increased awareness/vigilance, or both.  And if it's both, we don't know which one contributes more.  Without accurate figures, it's hard to tell.  

There's a lot of 'noise', and we know we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg.  But how big is the iceberg?  I don't think we can tell with any certainty.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
see Ockham's Razor
Disinformation, pure and simple.  Redirection.  Period.

[ Parent ]
Ockam: Attend the Tale of Sweeny Floyd.
Ockam's Razor. Sometimes it shaves.  Sometimes it cuts.

Sometimes you're not sure which you are getting, Floyd of Mayberry or Sweeny Todd (or both.)


ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
(sic) Sweeney Floyd nt

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Chinese blogger
This is a translation from a Chinese blog.(at least I think it's chinese. It translated well with chinese) Because of reports of Chinese bloggers being arrested, I wish to keep the link anonymous. If there is a threat to Chinese bloggers from their PTB, I wish to protect this blogger, for they are a regular visitor to my blog. I did read a headline the other day of a Chinese blogger being arrested, but for what I don't know. I only read the headline. I don't know how much of a threat there would be from us for the blogger in China, but just in case....
If you feel I'm making a big deal out of this, please let me know. I chose to put it in rumors, with no link.

As an example of what is to follow, I'll extract a couple of hightlights:

"....some farmers were told are disease, but farmers get government money to be told not quiet; hospital if suspected cases of bird flu, are not quiet, including patients and their relatives are not allowed to tell."

"Not confirmed, including Yantai, Shandong???hospital rumors also have hidden four deaths than in Jinan (January 5 disease, January 17 death) occurred in patients also died early."

What cottontop would like to do is have this set up as a diary. If everyone is comfortable not having the link, I'll set it up for info and discussion.

Google translated

China in a short period of time, in different districts, there will be more bird flu cases were exposed
China's official because the pressure from the United Nations, February 10 finally released the first bird flu cases in poultry, which are in Xinjiang Hotan Prefecture???zawa Rural??have been 519 deaths of poultry, poultry culled 10,003 only 2 more than a hundred thousand. As the director of the Center for Chinese influenza???January 9 said that "Chinese people will also be sporadic cases of bird flu emerging, infectious cases of unknown origin may still remain .....", From this we can infer the Chinese government in fact to know more case, but are still in full control of the release of the epidemic.

But we have learned from China's borders surrounding the occurrence of cases can be further pushed to know China bird flu: the Government of Vietnam such as China found smuggled live chickens with H5N1 virus in Vietnam's northern provinces, I would boldly speculate "China's southern provinces have H5N1 virus in chickens in the market spread of trafficking "; later the Chinese Communists also released in Guangxi (19 January disease, died January 26) of the infected persons died and one in Guizhou new cases of human infection with H5N1 (January 15 disease At present, the follow-up unknown).

Then, in Hong Kong since the end of January onwards found drifting to the northwest of Hong Kong and the West Bank, such as the death of chicken, duck and goose, Sing Tao Daily reporters have also found that Chinese farmers in Shenzhen Baoan District discarded along the coast do not know the cause of death of the birds into the sea; In addition, Hong Kong February 12 in the northeast, near Shenzhen, Tung Ping Chau Sha Tau Village, seized the body of a starling, or suspected of carrying the H5 bird flu virus, bird carcasses seized three kilometers of the location of boundary that is not chicken, but there is Example included in this briefing to determine infection with H5, it is clear in Shenzhen coastal dead chickens and other birds outside the parabolic case, is not confined to journalists before the Sing Tao Daily has been found in the vicinity of Shenzhen Baoan District. Since Hong Kong is still a day since at least 7000, China's imports of live chickens (the most likely sources are in Guangdong and Guangxi), in other words, the Hong Kong epidemic unencumbered by the Chinese, while a further outbreak of avian flu in the probability of sharp increases.

Click here to watch image

Letter has "Epoch", before and after New Year's Day in 2009, only two-city of Heilongjiang Province on the concentration of culling more than 100,000 poultry; avian flu in Heilongjiang Province has become a very serious, but by Communist China in order to ensure the World University Winter Games in Harbin smooth carried out deliberately; and as early as the end of 2008, Yabuli town and the Arab-Israeli city of Harbin is also a lot of culled poultry, and some farmers were told are disease, but farmers get government money to be told not quiet; hospital if suspected cases of bird flu, are not quiet, including patients and their relatives are not allowed to tell.

However, detection of Russia Deputy Chairman of agricultural and sideline products, the Russian veterinary Attorney General Nicholas •????February 4, "said Khabarovsk region has been recently discovered from China's inflow of H5N1 avian influenza. After two In laboratory tests confirmed that the discovery of this virus is H5N1 avian influenza virus species variation, as regards whether the variation would make the situation worsen, further studies have yet to be detected. " Khabarovsk Territory in Russia neighboring Heilongjiang Province, found the H5N1 virus variants of the virus of China (see report in English), plus the Olympic Games in China last year in order to conceal the message of melamine poisoning of milk, are to allow the "Epoch" readers letter described the situation, add their authenticity.

Location of the outbreak of dead chickens in Heilongjiang Province

Not only that, "Time Magazine" February 13 report (English original): Chongqing Municipality village, there are nearly 10,002 chickens 1000, since January 30 in the local death; the chickens cause of death has not yet been determined, but also China's official epidemic has not been reported.

Time Magazine February 13, 2009 China's Chongqing Municipality -2 Farmer on Day 5 are ready to bury dead chickens
Not confirmed, including Yantai, Shandong???hospital rumors also have hidden four deaths than in Jinan (January 5 disease, January 17 death) occurred in patients also died early. Together with the eight cases of human infection with H5N1 has not only the distribution of a wide range and large have the case of contact with poultry; UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the bird flu experts ? Vincent Martin was also news agency quoted Tang Bo said that China's human bird flu infection cases show that highly lethal H5N1 avian influenza in birds in the spread is. Chinese official suspected of being hidden epidemic is not smoke without fire!

China's official plans to release only a small number of cases, which are different from the usual special cases also the distribution of so wide, people feel that things have Seikei Alice; just the well-known Chinese experts in respiratory diseases Academician Zhong Nanshan mentioned February 5: "February to June is the peak period of influenza Canton, this time should be extra vigilant and to fight against the avian flu vaccine??to play a role??..... but long-term use of an avian influenza vaccine, will be have a variant of the continuous improvement required, and the mainland are also upgrading ", added:" human avian influenza vaccine research progress well, a clinical trial has been completed and has entered the second phase of the research stage. the first batch of birds were influenza vaccine has been injected with more than 30 people, several have produced antibodies, the recent case of a child have to accept volunteers serum, have high internal antibody. However, the antibodies are still not many, but also need to be further confirmed. " I can not help but wonder, China may continue to be tested in large-scale bird flu vaccine in human trial are likely to .....; Canton is one of the pilot to .....

United we stand: Divided we fall

I guess what I don't understand . . .
Why worry about protecting the source if it's already out there on the internet?  If you can find it, and if you could provide a link to it if you so chose, then I think it's already in what I would consider the public domain.

I'm just not sure there's any need to protect something that's already public.  There's always a risk to Chinese bloggers, but if they choose to put themselves at risk I don't know that other people in far off lands have any responsibility implied or otherwise to protect them as a source of information.

Or am I missing something here?

[ Parent ]
I would protect them
I would feel horrible if someone was thrown in the slammer because I posted something from someone's blog where information was so restricted. That is just my opinion though.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
No, your not missing anything
Clawdia. I do understand what your saying, and it's a valid point. I did ask you to tell me if I was over reacting to this or not. My initial reaction was to not post the link. I can't begin to explain it here.

I did think about that, what responsibilities I had as someone who was posting information from other blogs, being I'm in another country. Blogs are a whole different area than talking news from news sites. It's an area not covered in the flu community especially from other countries like China who are routinely shut down and arrested. I guess my though is, I want to keep this blogger going for as long as possible, even if it's enevetable they'll be shut down and arrested.


United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
I think you did the right thing, cottontop.
Why make it any easier for this country to find these bloggers?

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]
Nepal: Bird flu detected?
2009-02-20 08:50:16 - Biological Hazard - Nepal

EDIS CODE: BH-20090220-20587-NPL
Date & Time: 2009-02-20 08:50:16 [UTC]
Area: Nepal, Jhapa district, , Kakarbhitta

The name of Hazard: H5N1 (Susp. Animal)

Not confirmed information!


Bird flu has been detected in a village of Jhapa district in eastern Nepal on Friday. H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus, the causative agent of the dreaded bird flu, has been detected in a chicken sample collected from Sharanamati VDC of the district, spokesperson at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Hari Dahal said. The virus was detected in a chicken imported from India. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is set to organise a press conference to give further information about the outbreak. Nepal had managed to remain unscathed by the avian virus even after it was traced in neighboring villages of India and the first outbreak of the disease was confirmed in mid-January. After the first outbreak of the disease in the country on Jan. 16, the government had declared emergency in the area that lied within a radius of ten kilometre from the quarantine office in Kakarbhitta of Jhapa.


(Anybody heard anything about this? First I'm hearing.-cottontop)

United we stand: Divided we fall

Forgot to add that
the Nepal rumor is from RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service Budapest, Hungary.  

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
Ah, it is in the news diary. (my bad) n/t

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
BBC Readers Comments From Mexico
Hat-tip to Road Warrior over at PFI.

Mexico flu: Your experiences

Readers in Mexico have been emailing the BBC describing the sense of fear gripping the country as a result of a flu virus outbreak, which has so far claimed up to 60 lives.

The World Health Organization says the virus has the potential to become a pandemic.

Read a selection of BBC readers' comments below.

I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from "under control". As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.

Yeny Gregorio Dávila, Mexico City

The situation in Mexico City is really not normal. There is a sense of uncertainty that borders on paranoid behaviour in some cases. At this very moment, Mexican TV is showing how military forces are giving masks to the people in the streets. Moreover the news is sending alarming messages for the audience. Really, the atmosphere in the city is unsettling, a good example: pubs and concerts are being closed or cancelled and people don't haven thorough information. In this city (and country) there is an urgent need for assertive information, no paranoid messages from the government or the Mexican media.

Patricio Barrientos and Aranzazu Nuñez, Mexico City

Massive events have been cancelled at the National Auditorium - Mexico City's largest indoor venue with capacity of 10,000 - which has been closed. Two soccer games have been cancelled at the Olympic Stadium. A sold out game with 70,000 expected attendance will be played behind closed doors. Another game at the famous Azteca Stadium that would draw an attendance of 50,000 will also be played behind closed doors.

Juan Carlos Leon Calderon, Mexico City

It's eerily quiet here in the capital. Lots of people with masks, Facebook communities exchanging gallows humour, everybody waiting to see if schools and universities will stay closed for ten days (as goes the rumour). All masks have been used up, and we are waiting for new supplies.

Dr Duncan Wood, Mexico City

Yesterday in my office it was a bit surreal walking in to see all in blue masks with deep cleansing of computer equipment and surfaces going on. Let's hope it is contained and does not escalate. The local news is reporting 200 fatalities and reports of flu spreading from areas outside of Mexico City. Given the volume of daily commuter traffic on cramped busses and trains, this may not have to be too virulent to be disastrous in human terms. I wonder what controls there will be on flights in and out.

Will Shea, Mexico City

I work for the government as a head of a computer infrastructure operations department. At work we are doing several actions to try not to expose workers. We sent several home. I support the Pumas football team and the very important match with the Guadalajara team will be played behind closed doors. My family and I are going to stay home all weekend. We feel a little scared and confused with the feeling that we are not given being told the truth. Many people think the numbers of dead people is higher than we are being told.

Marcos, Mexico City

The whole city is affected, I have a very bad feeling about this. Two of my friends at work are sick, they were sick for a couple of days, they went to the hospital and they sent them back to work. The doctor told them it was just a flu until Friday when the alarm was spread, then they were allowed to go home. I work in a call centre and I'm worried because there are no windows in the building so it cannot be ventilated and around 400 people work there.

We all have talked to our supervisor but no one has done anything not even sterilise or disinfect the area. We will be sick soon and, well, do the math - 400 can infect at least another two per day. The authorities say there's nothing they can do since it's a private company and I can assure you, the company I work for is not the only one like this in the whole city. Us workers don't have much protection from our government and if we want to keep our jobs we have to go anyway.

Adriana, Mexico City

I'm a college student in Mexico City, and I can only say that the information that the media has provided doesn't seem to be enough, we do not now how serious it is because they have failed to mention it. There have been two ways of responding to this event, the ones that have entered themselves into quarantine claiming that the government is hiding something much more serious, and those who take this as a joke saying that everyone is overreacting. To put a cherry on top all kind of crazy rumours are flying around - that they are going to quarantine Mexico City, that a school and some specific branches of offices and jobs are going to be suspended for days to come, and so on. I wish more info was available, for example how to prevent it? Have there been many deaths? Is there a threat of an epidemic?

Mari A, Mexico City

I didn't hear about the flu epidemic until last night at 2330. Yesterday the streets were almost empty compared to a normal Friday afternoon. The media is bombarding the same information over and over again, but the authorities haven't said anything new yet, only that they have enough vaccines for those with the flu and that we should avoid public spaces.

Paulina, Mexico City


Lack of trusted information
Not unexpectedly, it sounds like these writers are most distress by rumors, perceived or real lack of accurate, honest information. It seems to be their #1 concern.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
Small info
A friend of my son's Mexican girlfriend works in Mexico, came down with some flu last week or so, was treated with tamiflu and has recovered. My son's adamant that he was told it was swine flu but I can't be sure because of the scant information. My son's reliable but I don't know if girlfriend/friend is. I've asked him to keep his ears pricked up and ask more info from girlfriend.

I started topping up my preps today primarily because a crisis meeting convened by WHO on a Saturday, well it's freaked me out. Getting these people in the office on a beautiful sunny and warm Saturday means there's really something to be worried about. After another pneumonia this winter which had me in bed for 5 weeks, though it wasn't as bad as the one 2 years ago, I just hope all this fizzles out, but...

As I up my preps, it leaves me less time to search news for the various flu sites. I have been unable to raise any of my contacts (it's the weekend and they are work colleagues - I don't have home phone numbers).

Will keep you updated if anything comes my way.

Take care you all


Let me be blind to wicked text, deaf to wicked words, mute to wicked comments.

Travel Forum Comment
I found this on the Thorntree Travel Forum for Mexico.  

Well, here in Tampico I work in an office of about 15 people, and this week two guys went home sick. One other had some light symptoms but went to work anyway.

But to add a little perspective to this, when I was at the home office in Houston in December for about 3 days, I came down with a cold and some allergy symptoms and attributed it to my defense system getting used to the different microbes in Houston. When I got back to Tampico, it got worse, and just after Christmas I went to the hospital to get checked out. They said I had the flu and gave me some prescriptions which helped me feel about 10% better each day. I didn´t go to work most of the week after Christmas and stayed home. It wasn´t bad. No fever or DT´s. The doctor told me it would last about 5-7 days or so, and she was right. Then later into January, just about everybody in the office came down with the same thing at one time or another.

The two guys that are sick this week were the ones who didn´t get sick in January, so I´m wondering if those of us who had the flu earlier in the year will be immune from the Mexican flu that´s going around. Later in the week, I´ll let you know if my theory is right.


The thought which came to mind when I read this is that potentially a mild form of Swine Flu passed through Tampico and/or Houston and elsewhere in December/January. Due to it being mild, it was not recognized as a new flu virus.  Maybe this same mild virus is still around in Mexico and parts of the U.S.  But, what if a particular form of this virus has taken a turn for the worst in Mexico City and a few other locations in Mexico (reminiscent of the Spanish Flu mild to severe transition).  This could explain some of confusing differences in symptoms.  I know, an awful lot of speculation from just one comment on a travel forum.  But this would explain the presence of a widely scattered mild version of virus and a more localized severe strain.

WHO car parks
As on every Sunday afternoon, I went for a drive with my old lady. Passed by WHO just after lunch. This time, I dared drive right past the main entrance. By the various car parks in and nearby, there must have been about 50-60 cars (I didn't stop to count them). You may rejoice to know that Mrs. No. 1's car was right there. She must have been in the office to work.

So it just confirms to me that if they can get so much staff to work on Saturday AND Sunday, it's got to be more serious than what we've seen before. Remember, when I used to go by fairly regularly a year or two ago, when we were worried about H5N1 hitting the fan, there was always very little to report. This time there is.

Let me be blind to wicked text, deaf to wicked words, mute to wicked comments.

Thank you, FrenchieGirl (n/t)

[ Parent ]
Any Word on Arkasas Death Positive for Multiple Flu Strains?
Did we ever hear what the results were on this guy either from the autopsy or the CDC test?

It was reported by the AP back on the 17th.

An offshore oil worker who died at a Little Rock hospital tested positive for several strains of flu, potentially meaning swine flu contributed to his death, authorities said Sunday.

Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper said the 28-year-old went to the hospital Friday night for treatment and died early Saturday morning. Camper said tests came back positive for more than one strain of the flu, requiring his office to explore whether swine flu played a part in the death.

Camper declined to identify the man, who he said suffered from flulike symptoms for six weeks before seeking medical attention. The coroner said the man's body would undergo an autopsy Monday at the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock and further tests would be conducted.

Camper said investigators were still trying to piece together when the man came inland and whether he had traveled to Mexico or any other area affected by the virus recently.

"We just don't know what his travel history is," Camper told The Associated Press. "It's hard to tell what those guys' travel histories are."

Dr. James Phillips, an epidemiologist with the Arkansas Department of Health, said the information he received about the man's death made it sound unlikely the man had the swine flu. Typically, most flu cases don't last longer than a week, with two weeks on the outside if a person is reinfected by the virus, he said.

However, Phillips said samples from the man likely would be sent along to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.


It could be poorly worded report indicating "multiple strains" and the duration of symptoms seems well outside what we have seen, but I suppose if he had sequential bouts of flu from different flu strains maybe that could explain?

I just never heard another peep about this guy.  

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain


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