In this file:
· NYT: Coronavirus Outbreak Risks Reviving Stigma for China
SARS. Bird flu. And now a new coronavirus...
· Amid the coronavirus outbreak, China is now also fighting deadly bird flu in chickens
In the shadow of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, a deadly disease has emerged in chickens in a Chinese province near the epicenter of the outbreak...
Coronavirus Outbreak Risks Reviving Stigma for China
Many of the world’s biggest epidemics have been traced to China. But contagion does not play geographical favorites and the country has made great strides in public health.
By Rick Gladstone, The New York Times (NYT)
Feb. 10, 2020
SARS. Bird flu. And now a new coronavirus.
A lot of epidemics seem to come out of China, leading some to point accusing fingers. President Trump’s trade czar, Peter Navarro, for one, once went so far as to describe the country as a “disease incubator,” and that was before the latest outbreak.
But those perceptions are outdated.
While some of the most serious outbreaks have been traced to Chinese origins, others associated with China may have started elsewhere.
Old stereotypes have also contributed to unfounded portrayals of China as a source of contagion, when in fact it has progressed further than many countries in eradicating scourges that can flourish in developing regions.
Still, China’s recent history of what are known as zoonotic infections — viruses, bacteria and parasites that spread between animals and humans — has raised questions about public-health practices in the world’s most populous country.
And while the Chinese government has strengthened disease detection and monitoring capabilities, its tendency to play down or even cover up mass outbreaks may play a role in their severity and scope.
Dr. Jennifer Huang Bouey, an epidemiologist and senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, a research organization, said China had become a leader in the study of contagious disease. The flu vaccines provided in the United States, for example, are often traced to research done in China.
At the same time, Dr. Bouey said, China remains somewhat of a laboratory itself.
“There is quite a fair amount of epidemics originating in China or passing through China,” she said.
Here are five basic questions and answers on China and infectious diseases.
Q: What epidemics have been traced to China? ...
Q: Why might China be at special risk for zoonotic infections? ...
Q: Is China the only source of zoonotic infections? ...
Q: Has China been unfairly singled out? ...
Q: Why has the Chinese government tended to minimize or even cover up outbreaks? ...
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Amid the coronavirus outbreak, China is now also fighting deadly bird flu in chickens
· China has reported an animal outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu in chickens in the Hunan province, an area that borders the province where the coronavirus emerged, the South China Morning Post reported.
· No human cases have been reported.
· The mortality rate of the disease is about 60% in people.
Paulina Cachero, Business Insider
Feb 10, 2020
In the shadow of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, a deadly disease has emerged in chickens in a Chinese province near the epicenter of the outbreak.
According to the South China Morning Post, China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported an animal outbreak of the often fatal H5N1 bird flu in thousands of chickens in the Hunan province, which borders the Hubei province to the south.
"The farm has 7,850 chickens, and 4,500 of the chickens have died from the contagion. Local authorities have culled 17,828 poultry after the outbreak," a statement by China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on February 1.
There are no reported human cases of the H5N1 avian flu, according to South China Morning Post, and transmission of the disease to humans is rare. Nearly all cases of avian-flu infection in people have been associated with "close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments," according to the World Health Organization.
However, the outbreak is a cause for concern because this avian flu has a 60% mortality rate among infected humans, according to WHO. Additionally, the H5N1 bird flu can cause severe respiratory illness, including pneumonia, and neurological changes such as an altered mental state and seizures.
"If the H5N1 virus were to change and become easily transmissible from person to person while retaining its capacity to cause severe disease, the consequences for public health could be very serious," WHO said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the H5N1 bird flu to have "pandemic potential"...
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