Bird Flu Spreads To Beijing, Province Of Henan; Death Toll Rises To 13

Tyler Durden's picture

If China needed a deflationary boost (if only for chicken prices which will certainly result in inflation for all other food products, especially after the recent floating pig fiasco fades from memory), it certainly got it with the constantly escalating Bird Flu scare, which has resulted in 13 casualties of the 60 total infections reported so far, a mortality rate which at least to date is double that of the 2003 SARS epidemic, which claimed one in ten of the 8000 people it infected worldwide. What is most disturbing is that after being largely confined to the Yangtze River Delta, and primarily China's Shanghai business hub, the H7N9 epidemic spread to Beijing on Friday when the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a seven year-old child in the capital of Beijing had been infected by the H7N9 bird flu virus, while on Sunday two people in the central Chinese province of Henan were reported infected - the first cases found in the region.

From Reuters:

Two people in the central Chinese province of Henan have been infected by a new strain of avian influenza, the first cases found in the region, while the death toll has risen to 13 from a total of 60 infections after two more deaths in Shanghai. One of the Henan victims, a 34-year old man in the city of Kaifeng, is now critically ill in hospital, while the other, a 65-year old farmer from Zhoukou, is stable. The two cases do not appear to be connected.


A total of 19 people in close contact with the two new victims were under observation but had shown no signs of infection, state news agency Xinhua said.


Three more victims were identified in Shanghai, China's business hub, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 24, with a total of nine deaths, state media said.


Three cases have now been reported outside the original clusters in eastern China, including one in the capital Beijing, but there is nothing out of the ordinary so far, the China representative of the World Health Organization said.


"There's no way to predict how it'll spread but it's not surprising if we have new cases in different places like we do in Beijing," Michael O'Leary told reporters. On Saturday, the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a seven year-old child in the capital of Beijing had been infected by the H7N9 bird flu virus, the first case to be reported outside of the Yangtze river delta region in east China, where the new strain emerged last month.


The child's parents work in the poultry trade.

So far the source of the outbreak has still not been isolated, while the Chinese health ministry is doing its best to eliminate fears that the virus spreads from person to person despite a case where the husband of a H7N9 victum was recently infected. From SCMP:

China’s health ministry said on Saturday that there is still no indication of human-to-human transmission of the virus, which has already killed 11 people in Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui.


“That’s a key factor in this situation,” said O’Leary. “As far as we know, all the cases are individually infected in a sporadic and not connected way.”


The husband of a H7N9 victim in Shanghai was recently infected, but O’Leary said there was no cause for alarm.


“If there’s only very rare cases ... That’s different from the ease of transmission from person to person. It’s that ease of transmission that we are concerned about, and there’s no evidence of that yet.”

As always, the government cares only about one thing: avoiding a panic, even if it has no idea what is truly going on.

For those who wish to decide on their own based on the facts (that are publicly released), here is the latest map of bird flu infections and deaths.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Didn't build that's picture

what is it with PRC and flus?

SARS, h5n1, swine flu and now h7n9..makes one almost wonder if this is some chicom bio warfare gone out of hand....


in fact, it would be interesting to overlay the outbreak and spread of SARS and the earlier flus with the current H7N9 outbreak to look for patterns...

wee-weed up's picture

Dead chickens floating in the river yet?

CH1's picture

I hope we all realize that some thousands die in a normal flu season.

13 deaths is a major freak-out?

dick cheneys ghost's picture

Damn it....Bit-coins could have saved their lives.............they just didnt listen

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Just because the flu is very near and dear to my heart:


Fish Gone Bad

jbvtme's picture

1.3 billion and climbing.  why isn't this good news?

prains's picture

13 dead is an average day in detroit

TraderTimm's picture


More accurate than you know - bitcoin is the virus from the internet that is infecting sovereign currencies worldwide, including the central banks. When they finally get off their asses and see a doctor, it will be too late - terminal case I'm afraid, while bitcoin spreads far and wide adding to its strength.

Good ideas often mimic a virus like that.

urbanelf's picture

13 death out of 60 infections?  We don't know where this is going, but I hope this ends up as just a freak-out.

F-X's picture

I think we can assume there have been more than 60 infections. Most people don't go to the hospital when they get the flu. I don't know anyone who does. 

Parrotile's picture

They certainly do in Melbourne. The start of the Southern Hemisphere 'flu season is approaching, and the ED Waiting Rooms are already well populated by those with the sniffles - all convinced they've caught "Pandemic Influenza" - whatever that is!

Moral of the story - DON'T go to Hospital unless you really want to catch whatever's out there - or you are REALLY ill - in which case, we all wish you the best of luck, 'cause you're going to need it!!

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Umm yes a 22% mortality rate, ten times that of Spanish flu that killed upwards of 100 million people between 1918-20. Ok it has the legs to be a mass killer the question is how contageous is it.


ebworthen's picture

And China is probably second only to India as the perfect breeding ground for a killer virus to mutate and spread like wildfire.

Billions of chances for permutations leading to one which is lethal and highy communicable; then millions upon millions in high density poupulation centers.

It will get stateside before they can stop it.

My Great-Grandfather died in the Spanish Flu epidemic; it was truly horrific, and less than 100 years ago.

The species is way overdue for it.  I don't want it, just an observation.

Sid James's picture

For most forms of Influenza with no pre-existing health problems, the mortality rate is less than a quarter of a percent, or about 1 in 400.

The average mortality rate for this outbreak is currently 20% - 25%.

i-dog's picture

Oh, FFS, don't get sucked in by media scaremongering!! Here is the real deal on seasonal flu:

"about three to five million yearly cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 yearly deaths,"


Millions of cases every year (ie. around 1 million in China) with a mortality rate of 10% (ie. around 100,000 dead in China).

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

I wonder how bad the impact on all the pollution and enviromental stressors in China has to do with the mortality rate, and how many people actually get it, and don't report it. 



Parrotile's picture

Major antigenic shift Influenza A is very different in morbidity and mortality to 'Flu A resulting from minor antigenic drift (to which most of the population has some (albeit variable) pre-exposure immunity.

Comparing morbidities and mortalities between seasonal, and truly pandemic, "Flu A is comparing apples with oranges.

BLOTTO's picture

My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City.

I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport everyday at mid-day, when the sun is highest in the sky. If you are out there... if anyone is out there... I can provide food, I can provide shelter, I can provide security. If there's anybody out there... anybody... please.

You are not alone.

IridiumRebel's picture

Actually he'd be fucked cuz he would have no weapons to defend himself and would be turned into lunch around the third day. Bloomberg would be on an island in the Caribbean.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

Come out, Neville!


Book was better.

Son of Loki's picture

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - South Florida is fighting a growing infestation of one of the world's most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat and gnaw through stucco and plaster.

More than 1,000 of the mollusks are being caught each week in Miami-Dade and 117,000 in total since the first snail was spotted by a homeowner in September 2011, said Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Maybe we could send them some of these critters....I hear they taste like chicken.

ForTheWorld's picture

Surely this is an escargo lovers dream?

akak's picture

Well, there's one solution to the glut of vacant unsold and foreclosed Florida homes.

FieldingMellish's picture

1.3bn people living in squalid close quarters. Infectious disease heaven.

IridiumRebel's picture

Both areas combined provide the perfect human petrie dish for a nice pandemic. india and China are not known for cleanliness. It's a viral buffet. 

Divided States of America's picture

Doesnt China supply NK with food still? Maybe it spread to NK already (well they wont report anything there) which is why all the desperate talk coming from Piglet Jr.

ebworthen's picture

Correct, made a comment above about China and India before I read these; great minds think alike.

If it mutates to a communicable form (human-to-human via droplets) it could be a much bigger killer than Spanish Flu.

DeadFred's picture

India is largely vegetarian so they get to miss out on the honor of creating the plague that ends the world.

resurger's picture

Am traveling to China this month, It was an honor to know you all.

my name is "resurger"

Matt's picture

1.3 billion people, along with their 5 billion chickens and 400 million pigs, living together in squalor. A nice loop for the viruses to get together, mingle. Like a crowded bar, but for diseases.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

It's even worse than that. The coronovirus that causes SARS has been proven to come from Civet cats. Numerous cages of civet cats stacked on top of each other at the ground zero of that epidemic. Feces from one cage was dribbling down on cages below. Other exotic animals were present as well. This is viral recombination heaven. The Black Death which killed half of Europe started in China and worked its way around by way of the silk trade. This was a bacterial disease but many theorize there may have been a uniqueness to this strain of Yersinia pestis to cause it to be so highly virulent. Modern DNA analysis seems to support this but we can never be sure. The more you provide viruses the ability to recombine in other species you statistically increase the chances of a world pandemic. Not if but when. Pathogenicity seems to be often linked to squalid living conditions. The reason is theoretically believed to be the ability of virus spread. If people live far apart, the virulence tends to be low so people will interact thus transmitting the virus. If people live in close conditions the virus doesn't have a transmission problem so virulence tends to be high. During the Spanish flu, numerous troops were living in horrible unsanitary conditions and the virus spread wildly killing the young instead of the
elderly. Unfortunately we are due for a pandemic and it probably will come from China. Thanks to world travel it will start quickly and be uncontainable before anything can be done. So with that, have a good day, hug your love ones and appreciate all the joy in your life 'cause who knows what the future brings.


Oliver Klozoff's picture

And it's even worse than that!

An aquaintance showed me pictures last year of his visit to a large Southern Chinese city. He was returning from a shakedown visit from a year long work assignment.

Very hot conditions(just north of Hanoi) but the way animals are slaughtered-right in the street-open air restaurants packed with people who share spit, snot and sneezes during their meals, little kids shitting and pissing where they stand....he showed me a picture of typical market street, packed with people, along with this commentary "you would not believe the stench coming from that street".

The Chinese eat their food fresh, refrigeration is practically unheard of and rarely for food. The remains of the slaughtered animals lay on the street till the vendor closes then it's washed down the sewers. Most major buildings have bathrooms that consist of holes in the floor that you squat over to do your business.

Flies everywhere.

Terms like squalor and unsanitary have absolutely no meaning when applied to China.

BTW my acquaintance just returned stateside last week.


Parrotile's picture

From a bacterial evolutionary standpoint, our "modern" wastewater treatment plants are surely "Resistance Heaven", since (in general) whatever we put into our Patients will be excreted - and off to the Sewage Works - in a nicely diluted nutrient rich soup!

Add in a happy hunting ground for all the flavours of bacteriophage and things do start to look particularly rosy.

Looking on the bright side, H7N9 is spreading a lot more slowly than the pig / bat recombinant version they had in "Contagion"  - so maybe that's something to be happy about!!


Ban KKiller's picture

My chickens are fine. I took away their passports and gave them new bedding. Five chickens, hens, in 10x20 foot enclosure.


Kaiser Doomheiser's picture

It's not so much the PEOPLE living in squalid close quarters as it is the BIRDS. Intensive animal confinement...that's what causes these outbreaks. Another example of how mankind will sacrifice millions on the altar of its meat habit.

Jack Burton's picture

China has the large scale pig, chicken and duck populations living in flithy conditions and in the presence of human populations in large numbers. These viruses play out between the animals cross infecting eachother and allowing large evolutionary changes. Pigs provide the channel to infect the humans and it all goes around in a circle. With time, new viruses devlope and can become lethal and more easy to transmit.

China is simply the perect crowded place for animal and human viruses to mix and develop. This will only get worse as human and animal populations grow and live closer and closer together.

Just as an aside, the diseases European brought to the New World that killed off most native Americans were caused by the habit of Europeans of living with their livestock over the long Europen winters. Europeans were loaded with specific viruses that spread and changed form animal to human. Native Americans did not live with domestic animals, they had NO immunity to these unique European diseases. The effect was unimaginable, death on a scale never seen before.

Matt's picture

So what you're saying is, the Chinese, by way of culture, are developing a biowarfare program to better enable them to take over the world.

Jack Burton's picture

No, they are the first victims of the nature of how they raise domestic animals for human consumption. This virus factory is of no benefit to Chinese, they will die first, as we see with this new strain of flue virus.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Congress can probably fix all this by making the flu illegal to own or transmit.

rwe2late's picture

 The near certain explanation is the "factory" production of animals in cruel, crowded, unsanitary conditions, often coupled with the use of antibiotics "necessitated" by the unnecessarily vile conditions.

Everyone should be aware of the conditions in feedlots and poultry warehouses.

As for bio-warfare, I venture to calculate that the likelihood of a "chicom" bio accident is less than the possibility of something originating somewhere else. The US, with an extensive bio-warfare program, is known to have had accidents, as well as done intentional testing; the Japanese definitely practiced bio-warfare during WW2, etc. 

Bearwagon's picture

But ... but ... but ... those dudes from Fort Detrick told me, there's absolutely nothing to worry about!

Pure Evil's picture

They were right. Cause once you're dead, your worries are over.

Fish Gone Bad's picture


The dead are so lucky.  /humor


Parrotile's picture

Maybe that's why they are "The Grateful Dead"??

DeadFred's picture

The easiest way to get a new strain of influenza is for an individual (usually a pig) to catch human and bird flu at the same time so a mix-o-matic new recombinant strain can be formed from pieces of both viruses. What comes out of the mix is a never-before-seen strain that can evade the immunities we build up from exposure to older strains. China is the best place to create these strains since rural farms have chickens, ducks, pigs and humans living so close together. It's just a matter of time until we get the next strain with all the bad characteristics, deadly, easily transmitted human to human, and very little existing immunity in the human population. The virologists know it's coming but will it be this year, this decade or this century? Listening to these guys talk about the "big one" makes Tyler's preaching about the coming financial meltdown sound like a day in the park. There's a 100% chance the big one virus will set off the big one financial crisis or worse.