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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

More on that flu outbreak in China.

Or maybe it wasn't the flu. Chinese authorities are not being particularly forthcoming about the matter.

Yesterday we posted about an AFP report that 400 university students in Henan province had fallen ill with the flu. Today, reports indicate that the outbreak may not be flu-related.

Here's some of the latest Interfax report:

Henan Department of Health has refused to reveal the cause of a flu-like outbreak that has infected 400 students at a university in the province....

Henan Department of Health said laboratory tests showed the infection is not type A or type B influenza.

Interfax asked vice director of the disease control and prevention division of Henan Department of Health, Shan Xinguo, why so many students contracted the disease at the same time, but he declined to give any details.

He said, "What I can say is the infection is now under control, and we can't give any further information,"

Shan Xinguo said the students had contracted upper respiratory tract infections.

He said, "It's normal for students to have upper respiratory tract infections, especially in spring. And at colleges, students are concentrated, so it's easy for many students to become infected with the disease at the same period of time."

Another official from Henan Department of Health, who declined to be named, said the situation is now under control, and the fever was starting to pass.

"The reason why so many students developed fever continuously still remains unclear," she said, "We are still investigating the matter, but we are sure the students are not victims of an epidemic influenza infection...."

Depending on how suspicious you are, the accounts now offered by Henan officials indicate that their earlier reports of a flu outbreak were made to cover their asses, or that their new reports are covering up an actual flu outbreak, also to cover their asses. Obviously, these possibilities make it hard to know for sure what's really gone on in Henan.

Given that none of the H5N1 blogs that we've looked at have reported on the Henan outbreak, I'm inclined to believe the authorities' claims that flu isn't involved. But you can be assured that i'll be keeping tabs on this story.

Via Mainichi Daily News.

| | Posted by Magpie at 1:51 AM | Get permalink




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