#3696
imported_Martin
Participant

Here's a response I made to post on Agonist, asking why I assert poultry industry is clearly main vector for h5n1 bird flu: Timings help. For 2003/04, say, the outbreaks did not fit migratory bird routes, timings (and species travelling). Nor were there outbreaks noted among migratory birds indicating that any were carrying h5n1 around; some cases of birds getting it and becoming sick or dying. Extensive testing, inc in Hong Kong (a major place along flyways here) didn't find in healthy wild birds. So, if not migratory birds, what else? Only poultry industry seems left. Inc in China, where vaccinations maybe (maybe, I'm not gonna start slam dunking closed cases around) helped create a silent epidemic

seems the h5n1 variant has been around since at least 1996. Outbreaks do fit with notion of h5n1 being carried around in poultry industry – birds mingling in markets and so on; in Thailand, some links to trade in fighting cocks. To me, too, fit pretty well with peat fire-like spread: the silent epidemic in vaccinated birds, flaring up when to regions without vaccines (Thailand, Indonesia etc in 2003/04, Xinjiang, Russia, Mongolia recently [for latter, yes, maybe wild birds, but those timings again looking odd – how about trade routes though? Pattern also sits fairly well with highways; FAO has suggested can be a change in transmission, from original flyways, to highways and byways.

Again, why no maps of highways and byways here? There is too little info; China secrecey not helping. (note re Nature paper, saying virus at Qinghai similar to poultry in se China, and maybe came from a single introduction from poultry. Branded a leak of secrets – not something I'd expect if the authors were really wide of the mark.) Poultry trade as vector looks better to me than flightless geese moving north at wrong time, or whatever. (Come on, Doc Niman, those shearwaters [Niman suggested Great Shearwaters might be vectors for bird flu; had been die-off reported, after ocean currents led to less food, but no hint of flu involved] – what next, little green men spreading it around the universe?!)