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Bird Flu May Affect 2008 Olympic Games
Ever since Chinese pigs became infected with bird flu type H5N1, the World Health Organization hoped that China would provide them with more information. Su Yiren, the director of the clinical research in Taiwan’s National Health Research Institute, said that the strong tendency of bird flu passing from person to person would be a huge threat to humans. He also warned all Chinese to avoid contact with birds and pigs. Moreover, he advised China to be on the alert to avoid epidemics, or they would face problems hosting the 2008 Olympic Games.
Su Yiren said that Vietnam, Thailand and China have the highest chance of developing new epidemics, because these places have so many types of bird flu. Foreign news reported that the news of the pigs infected with bird flu was not spread by Chinese officials. It was actually a lab director who secretly revealed that this situation has occurred in past years, but China did not report it to the World Health Organization. The news from Thailand and Vietnam is much clearer.
Su Yiren also pointed out that China will be hosting the Olympics in four years, and after 2007, if there were still problems with bird flu it would strongly impact on China as the Olympic host because it would be close to the date of the competitions. Su urged the Chinese government to promote inspection and control of bird flu, since the sooner such flu viruses are under control, the better it will benefit the whole world. He also reminded Anhui, Guangdong, Guanxi and Fujian provinces to avoid birds, beasts and pigs.
He stated that this epidemic went from water animals, to land animals and then to pigs. The pigs are the only animals that reproduce viruses of both bird flu and human epidemics. When the virus mutates in the future it will become contagious between people. The pig epidemic serves as a warning, especially when the time between each epidemic is shortening, and the virus has circulated widely in humans. It is predicted that this bird flu will definitely be transmitted among humans, though it is uncertain when it will happen.
According to the World Health Organization, the urgent matter at present is to take strict measures on precaution and protection. When infections occur, sick birds and pigs must be isolated immediately, and public health authorities should monitor the situation closely because of concerns about the potential for more widespread infection in the human population.
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