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9 December 2005 at 9:19 pm #3275Martin WParticipantQuote:Despite growing pressure for openness, Chinese officials have concealed bird-flu outbreaks in several provinces for many months this year, a leading scientific expert says. "I don't know if they are brave enough to admit that they have the virus in every corner of the country," said Guan Yi, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong who has analyzed nearly 100,000 bird-flu-virus samples from across China. "Quite honestly, some provinces have the virus and they still haven't announced any outbreak. I can show direct evidence, even though China is still trying very hard to block my research. The government doesn't do any surveillance studies, but they say there is no outbreak." He gave the example of Yunnan province, in southwestern China, which shares a border with Vietnam.
More than 90 people have died from the bird-flu virus in Vietnam, yet the Yunnan officials denied any outbreak of bird flu in their province until Nov. 17. In reality, the virus has been circulating in Yunnan for months, according to Dr. Guan's data. His disclosure will add new weight to the mounting concerns that Chinese officials — especially at the local level — are concealing information about bird-flu outbreaks.
– starts an article in the Globe and MailQuote:China has been slow to share its official bird-flu data with foreign experts, but Dr. Guan has used his own network of sources to gather virus samples. He blames the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture for failing to acknowledge the extent of bird flu among poultry flocks. "Why has this virus been burning for 10 years like a fire?" he said. "Ask the Chinese MOA. They should not avoid the question. It's obvious that it's out of control in China. It started off in Guangdong province and now the whole of China has the virus."
China hiding bird-flu cases: expert – Beijing has the 'virus in every corner of the country,' Hong Kong virologist says
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