Could there be a link?

I am not a doctor or a scientist or a bird watcher but I have been watching these events closely, and I found your board informative. I noticed a few things today that may or may not be related and I wanted to ask some people smarter than me what they thought.

You can google these headlines:

Avian flu caused encephalitis in Vietnamese boy Feb 16, 2005

Japanese encephalitis kills 944 people in India and Nepal

Not only does it have me wondering if it could be Avian Flu in India, it has me thinking about what role mosquitos might be playing in the transmission of Avian Flu.

Share this

Hi Chris:

Glad you find this board informative.

While my doctorate's in physical chemistry, and my main expertise of relevance to this issue is in migratory birds in e Asia, I'll attempt an answer - as not too many people arrive at this forum.

Mosquito transmission seems massively unlikely to me. AIDS, say, common in areas with mozzies, yet mosquito transmission never mooted that I've seen. For malaria, say, needs remarkable evolution of the pathogen, so not only ingested, but also excreted (in saliva) as mosquito bites.
Flu not transmitting this way - were it so, then evolutionary biology notions by Ewald (another thread here mentions) would suggest flu would become very dangerous, and stay so (not just h5n1).

H5N1 has caused a range of symptoms in humans, with encepalitis evidently rare. So, with so many cases in India, should also have pneumonia and so on, major red flags warning of h5n1; that plus they know Jap encephalitis from experience, plus h5n1 never known in India suggests to me it's Jap encephalitis.

Martin