Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bangladesh Slaughters 150,000 Birds After Worst H5N1 Virus Outbreak In 5 Years

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the bird-zero dept.

Medicine 76

An anonymous reader writes in with news about a bird flu outbreak in Bangladesh. "At least 150,000 chickens and 300,000 eggs have been destroyed at a giant poultry farm near Dhaka in Bangladesh after the major outbreak of avian flu was detected last week, officials said Wednesday. This season's bird flu outbreak was the worst in five years. Officials at Bay Agro at Gazipur detected the deadly H5N1 flu strain 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Dhaka on Monday after dozens of birds died, which had prompted the poultry company to send samples to a laboratory for testing. 'There are about 150,000 chickens at the farm. We have already killed and destroyed 120,000 chickens and we will kill the rest today,' livestock department director Mosaddeq Hossain said, according to AFP. Hossain said that it was the worst avian flu outbreak in five years."

cancel ×

76 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Slashdot (-1, Redundant)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42402531)

News. Stuff.

Poultrycaust (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#42402953)

Now the chickens are going to want their own little country, I suppose?

Re:Poultrycaust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403241)

I am a chicken, you insensitive clod! No offense, I just woke up on the wrong side of the road. *bluck*

Re:Poultrycaust (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#42403689)

I am a chicken, you insensitive clod! No offense, I just woke up on the wrong side of the road. *bluck*

But I showed the armadillos that it could be done.

Re:Poultrycaust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42404071)

Xenophobe?

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403003)

How are they going to eat?

Re:Slashdot (1)

TwezerFace (2788771) | about 2 years ago | (#42403117)

they will be eating well there...

keep doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403739)

I would like to know, what a moron designed chicken coop for 150k chicks and what a moron financed that?
It is known since Victorian era that birds breathe feast, and this must have access to fresh air, more then other domesticated animals.
Cramping that many chickens, combined with their tons of poop, ends up with outbreaks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68hapDEQEj0

Wonder how? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402549)

A friend of mine owns a small chicken farm (dozens of chickens), and had to shoot all of his when they caught the bird flu. How do you kill and dispose of millions of pounds of chicken?

Re:Wonder how? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402597)

With a chicken gun [wikipedia.org] of course.
Demo here [youtube.com] .

Re:Wonder how? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402653)

They are being gassed. Atleast that is how we kill vast swaths of animals here(The Netherlands). CO2 is quite effective.

Re:Wonder how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402681)

And then, many of these will likely be sold

Re:Wonder how? (2, Funny)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 years ago | (#42402769)

They must have learnt this trick from the neighbours

Re:Wonder how? (3, Funny)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | about 2 years ago | (#42402835)

No sacrifice is too great when it keeps the Aryan birds pure.

Re:Wonder how? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#42405317)

And the rooms were already built and tested.

Re:Wonder how? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about 2 years ago | (#42410505)

They where teaching the birds to speak Bengali? I'm not sure how you would teach Aryan languages to chickens, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to try.

Re:Wonder how? (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | about 2 years ago | (#42406811)

It was the other way around.

The companies that built the ovens for Auschwitz and the other concentration camps originally built crematoria ovens for disposing of livestock carcasses. When the Nazis needed to dispose off large numbers of bodies from the concentration camps they initially burned them on pyres, but eventually they contracted the company A.J. Topf & Sohne which had experience with building crematoria ovens for livestock carcasses.

This was fairly typical for the holocaust. German companies profiteered extensively from the camps. A subsidiary of IBM produced the machines which kept records of prisoners. IG Farben, which was part owned by Bayer, held the patent for Zyklon B, the Cyanide pesticide used in the gas chambers (the poison was actually produced by ther companies however ), and many other german companies profited from slave from the camp's inmates.

That's part of what made it one of the worst genocides in history. They did not simply kill millions of people. They turned mass murder into an industrialised business venture.

Re:Wonder how? (1)

torsmo (1301691) | about 2 years ago | (#42409051)

No, they usually have their necks wrung. This is done not by the farm owners themselves, but by vets in biohazard suits from the animal husbandry and poultry dept.

Re:Wonder how? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402695)

The normal method (here where I live) is to either gas them or use a high-speed shredder/pulveriser/thing - you chuck those chickens in and they're turned to paste before they can say "cheep".

Re:Wonder how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402875)

Using a good old 12-Gauge shotgun in the chicken barn?

Re:Wonder how? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#42403013)

You can always hurd them into airport runways.

Re:Wonder how? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#42403133)

How do you kill and dispose of millions of pounds of chicken?

You organize a large-scale, last-man-standing cockfight. The difficulty is convincing the hens that they are roosters, but chicks tend to be open about gender issues these days.

If the chickens are cannibals, they take care of the disposal part themselves. Winner eats all.

Re:dispose of millions of pounds of chicken? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#42403911)

Play real life Angry Birds?

As a vegan -- (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402569)

How does this affect me??

Re:As a vegan -- (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402987)

Bump.

Re:As a vegan -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42405837)

You call yourself a vegan, but you're not affected by the slaughter of 150,000 animals? Asshole.

Evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402579)

Whatabout all the suffering and grieving those muslim bastards caused in the west?? How come we don't get to slaughter 150,000 of them??

I say PETA should have a field day over this massacre. Death to muslims now!!!

Angry birds. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402581)

Dead angry!

wheres the racist idiot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402639)

are you having your little hate filled dreams?

Anybody surprised? Don't be (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#42402649)

The issue here is that these companies are taking shortcuts, esp. WRT animal density. As such, you have an easy chance of contamination.
Sadly, this same thing goes on with farmed fish/shrimp throughout Asia, which is leading to some new bugs that will be arriving on these to the west.

Now, why should the west be concerned? Because all too often, weastern companies, such as safeway, ignore safety issues. Safeway will actually use chicken from Asia. Likewise, they get a lot of farmed fish/shellfish from Asia/South America.

Re:Anybody surprised? Don't be (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403909)

1. Increase density of animal cruelty
2. Profit
3. Contaminate the whole human population with a new unbeatable strain of flu
4. ???
5. Profit from all the cleanup that will be required

Business as usual while ignorant people let the money system dictate our destiny.

Captcha: pastures

there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (3, Insightful)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42402755)

I know you are going WTF? at my header but read on...

Some years ago there was a large scale out break of Bird Flu in my country. Naturally the government called for a massive cull...

And while most (all normal people?) avoided all chicken and eggs, *some* people decided to take advantage of the sudden plummet in chicken prices.

I shit you not, when I heard that a family in the neighbourhood sped up their son's wedding date significantly to take advantage of all that cheap, cheap chicken...

Oh sure, apparently if you cook the chicken thoroughly the chances of catching the virus a minimum, but still... we decide to give that invitation a pass...

So my dear Bangladeshi friends, take it from a fellow South Asian: If you get a sudden invite to a party or wedding, give it a pass...

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402899)

You are a disgusting shit stain from the world's disease spewing asshole.

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (2, Funny)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42403047)

Aww shucks, thanks! You are just too generous with your compliments!

I am sure you are just the same, if not more so, my good sir/madam :D

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403061)

he's a dick but you made me laugh more than he did... at the same issue you're mad at... becase, well... you're butt-hurt. that's funny.

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42405215)

What is wrong with you, and why are you here?

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42405867)

I wonder the same thing about myself every time I see your stupid sig

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42402909)

Only because there is a demand for it

How many times do you see people buying the most worthless And cheapest food only to put it into their $40,000 SUV

Priorities

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42403025)

Exactly! like the neighbours I mention, they were *definitely* not poor, they were upper middle class, they could afford the same number of chicken even at normal prices, then why would they risk a wedding like that?

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42405233)

how much would they really save? And why? just to serve over cooked chicken? And wouldn't there be a cost in just moving a wedding date so suddenly?
Wouldn't that be considered rude?

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402943)

So your data set is.. one wedding?

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (3, Interesting)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42403007)

No, that's not the point, the point is, I heard *a lot* of people say that such events were on the up rise, I ignored them as typical gossip... until I got that wedding card.

Asking them why the sudden change in date, (the engagement had happened only a month or so ago, and the wedding wasn't due for another six months or so...) I was *floored* by them being totally honest and describing *this* as a reason!

Then I started wondering, if one gossip is true, then how many more?

Then I start hearing about some *other* people getting married early... and my mind started spinning.

We pretty much stayed away from weddings for quite a while...

Hence my advice to others; If you start hearing gossip about early weddings, STAY THE HELL AWAY.

I mean, why the fuck would you risk a wedding turning into a tragedy simply because of rock-bottom prices of chicken? I still wonder what possessed my neighbours, I mean it was not like they were poor or anything! The father of the groom worked in the Gulf and earned a boatload of money...

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#42403161)

I though the point was that you don't like cheap chicken and parties.

supposing your government disposed of the infected chicken stock whats so bad about it? were there any people infected from the cheap chicken that had a stigma on it? stigma created by people like you - was the chicken they used even domestic? because the way such stigma on a foodstuff works is that it has little to do with the origin of the chicken even.

(anyhow, isn't it live avian that spread it?)

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (4, Interesting)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42403311)

Um, just to clarify, this is south asia we are talking about, not europe or us or other place with strict slaughter control. We have already have trouble catching meat that came from bloated animals (they pump water in the arteries to fatten up the meat...) and meat that comes from already deceased carcasses. Things are bad, here.

So let's revisit the issue. Govt orders a cull. Typically, that means it won't do it itself, just orders one to be conducted by the stock owners. People naturally get afraid, demand drops, chicken prices hit rock bottom.

Cue crazy people taking advantage of falling chicken prices to organise massive weddings. No body knows where the chicken is coming from, is it from the affected stock, is it safe blah blah.

Please don't presume, I have nothing against cheap chicken and weddings. But I know my country, I know just how *diligently* they work. If all the infected chicken had been disposed off in a proper way, then it wouldn't have mattered, because that would have ensured the other chicken was safe, it's only the stigma keeping the prices low. But given our less than amicable control system, you can't be sure of that here.

If people can cheat by bloating and dead-carcassing, you think they wouldn't stoop to a bit of bribery to ensure *their* stock is passed without checks?

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42411269)

Thanks for giving us an 'on the ground' report. That was so much more informative than CNN

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

StinyDanish (1196711) | about 2 years ago | (#42411321)

And I'm not the same anonymous coward who mocked the real news report. I approve this message.

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403039)

Mod parent up!

No risk in the meat (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 years ago | (#42403231)

Oh sure, apparently if you cook the chicken thoroughly the chances of catching the virus a minimum, but still..

Influenza is a virus. It's a thing which spread from one living being to another. It has nothing to do with your food. *You* could eat sicked chicken without any risk as long as it's dead and cooked (and you have to cook poultry thoroughly if you don't want to have a big food poisoning problems anyway).

Also, birdflu is a *BIRD* disease, humans normally don't catch it under normal circumstances. (The 'H5' receptor on the virus only binds to chicken cells. You need H1 or H3 to bind to human cells easily if my memory serves me right) So even if you have a sick chicken in your house, chance are almost nothing would probably happen to you.

The problem is not *you*. The problem with is with the high density of birds in those farms and their massive (over-)population.
If one single chicken catches the bird flu, it can spread very quickly to the whole farm, then neighbouring farm, then the whole region (same as human flu at a workplace in a densely populated area).
If you don't stop the disease today, by killing the 150'000 chicken who were in direct contact with a sick chicken (and could catch it) today, then in a few days, you'll have a dozen of million of sick birds on your hands and a massive epidemiological problem. (Same with humans: If you don't stay at home when you're sick, you're going to make all your colleagues sick and before you know, the whole building housing your workplace is full of cick people).

In addition to that, if there's such a massive amount of virus spreading around, there's a tiny bit of risk that "by error" a virus infects a human who is a lot in contact with the chickens and the bird epidemic (and by "a lot" i really mean "a lot". As in "the farmer who work in the chicken farm everyday". Not as in "some random guy who happen to eat chicken").
For the human him-/her-self this isn't necessarily bad news (in a big city, in theory... sadly we're usually speaking about very poor farmers in remote area, so their accessibility to proper treatment is very likely to be sub-optimal). Nor is it a direct danger for other humans around (it was already a big amount of luck that the *bird* virus managed to infect a human. Jumping from that point onward to another human *again* is like winning a lottery 2 times in a row: *very* unlikely).
But due to the peculiarities of influenza genetics, inside the human the bird flu virus could get mixed with a human flu it the human has it too. (The bird flu stealing the gene for the correct receptor to be able to efficiently bind and infect human cells). The same could also happen inside an animal which could catch both flu at the same time (pigs can occasionally catch bird flu, and pigs can also catch human flu - this a pig could also serve this role of mixer).
And *this* mutant hybrid would be problematic because this new humanized bird flu could cause an epidemic among the human population.

In short, the sick chickens aren't dangerous for humans. They are not killed because of that. The reason they are killed is to stop the bird flu spreading and causing an epidemics among the birds. And also to lower the risk that 1 virus manage to win the lottery and become a human-infecting hybrid and in turn cause a human epidemic.

But the flesh is perfectly edible. You can safely eat chicken, and you can safely take advantage of the lower prices.

(It's a different situation than the mad cow disease.
Mad cow disease is due to a protein, which survives cooking.
Bird flu is due to a virus, which requires a living bird, and doesn't infect humans anyway).

Re:No risk in the meat (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#42403993)

There is signifcant risk. You can get sick from eating it. However it can't spread to human to human ... yet.That is the part that is missing.

The real risk from this is it can mutate or combine with another flu or cold virus that does have the gene for human to human transmission. A swine would be the perftect candidate if any are around the farm to do this. Also the virus could interact with a standard cold virus in a human and then with that mutation can spread person to person as a very lethal virus.

This is how most flu virii evolve. It makes sense to cull them not for the birds but because of the risks associated above. I think a 2nd opinion is needed on if you can get sick eating infected flesh as I was informed you can even if it is not contagious between human to human

Biology 101 (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 years ago | (#42405051)

There is signifcant risk. You can get sick from eating it.

NO. YOU. CAN'T.

First and fore most:
- Influenza is a virus.
- It doesn't have a biochemistry of its own, it must use its host's. outside of a cell it's just an inert object.
- It is produced by one infected cell in the sick individual. And needs to reach a fresh cell within its (short) life time.
(its a virus containing RNA, and not encapsulated in a protein shell but in a lipid membrance. This means it won't survive long without a host cell whose biochemistry to use).
In short: that means that it must be quickly sneezed onto someone else (aerosol and particulate transmission). IT CANNOT STAY LURKING FOR A LONG TIME OUTSIDE IT'S PREVIOUS HOST UNTIL IT MEETS A NEW ONE.
This a *virus* (and a fragile one). Not a *bacteria*, not a *bacteria's spore*. Not a parasite. Nor one of the few more durable viruses wich might, under the right condition, resist a longer time until finding a new host (HIV viruses hidden inside the needle of a used syringe can survive a few hours before finding a new host)

- That means you need a living host, with living cell secreting viruses to transmit it.
- A fried émicé in a nice curry sauce sevred along a side dish of rice *DEFINITELY FAILS* the "living cell" definition.

Also, if you're cooking impaired:
- poultry meat is ALWAYS served thoroughly cooked. chicken are rather filthy animals and if you don't cook their meat, you're at high risk of food poisoning due to parasites, bacteria, and other stuff. Influenza is the least of your problems. YOU CAN'T EAT CHICKEN RAW.
- cooking destroys and sterilise almost anything (the only exception are prions. prions could somewhat survive some amount of cooking and still be able to replicate afterward. mad cow disease CAN BE transmitted by cooked food, but that's an exception)
- viruses will be *COMPLETELY DESTROYED* during the cooking (along with all the other bad stuff. this make the food safe and edible. cooking was invented exactly for this purpose) the only usual risks that remain after cooking are non infectious but chemical (pollution, toxins, poison).

Last but not least:
- Avian flu (H5N1) is *A. BIRD. DISEASE*.
- It's got a Haemagglutinin 5 (H5) on its surface - that's were it's codename comes from.
- H5 binds to bird cell. It can easily infect birds.
- H1, H2 and H3 are the one binding to human cells. You would need on of these to infect humans.
- It can only *very very very rarely* enter a human host, only by sheer luck, almost *by error*. We're speaking about a few dozens of individuals each year during avian flu outbreaks, and this is mostly the poeple who are exposed to birds a lot (the farmers handling them working in the overcrowded farms with thousand of chicken cramed in a small place. not the guy eating a chicken wing).

So even if the virus was magically able to survive a long time outside a living host (it doesn't) AND even if the virus was able to magically survive cooking (it doesn't neither) chance for catching avian flu through eating are close to none.

On the other hand, if you're a poor farmer working daily on a farm with thousands of chickens packed together and if an avian flu epidemic spreads among your flock, there's a small chance for you to catch it to. (And sadly for you, because you're a poor farmer in the backland and not a wealthy citizen in the big city, you will let the disease evolve without treatment, hoping that it will end on its own, and you might have a complication, like a pneumonia).

In short:
- You can catch bird flu, if you're a living bird and another living bird sneeze on you.
(Among birds, the oro-fecal pathway works too. Don't peck neither on other birds' fresh shit)

- You can catch bird flu, if you're a (living) human and you got sneezed on by sick birds several thousand times a day in the tiny overcrowded farm where you work and you are not lucky.
If you're already sick and *really not lucky at all*, you could even father a human-spreading hybrid.
(- same as above, but higher risk rates, if you're a pig).

- You *CAN'T* catch bird flu, if you're a (healthy) human eating a deep fried chicken.

However it can't spread to human to human ... yet.That is the part that is missing.
The real risk from this is it can mutate or combine with another flu or cold virus that does have the gene for human to human transmission. A swine would be the perftect candidate if any are around the farm to do this. Also the virus could interact with a standard cold virus in a human and then with that mutation can spread person to person as a very lethal virus.

Thank you for repeating the second half of my post.
That explains why an epidemic of flu among chicken is problematic to humans.
Bird flu is not dangerous to humans per se. But if it spreads among birds, you increase the chance of making a hybrid which will be abble to spread among humans.
That's one of the reason will you want to avoid a bird flu epidemic among birds.

As I said, you don't want 1 virus managing to win the mutation/evolution lottery and gain capability to spread among humans.

Re:Biology 101 (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42405367)

But handling raw chicken with the virus can cause it to spread. So mutation can happen from preparing infected chicken.

". IT CANNOT STAY LURKING FOR A LONG TIME OUTSIDE IT'S PREVIOUS HOST UNTIL IT MEETS A NEW ONE."
If you are going to be presenting your self as knowledgeable on the subject, then you need to refrain from saying 'long time' it's vague.
It can last for days, depending on many factors. The number one way ti's transmitted bird to bird is through shared drinking water.

Eating properly prepare chicken is safe, preparing the chicken has risk. Slight risk, but risk none the less. A risk spread out of 10's of million of opportunities.

Time scale (1)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 years ago | (#42417099)

If you are going to be presenting your self as knowledgeable on the subject, then you need to refrain from saying 'long time' it's vague.

Under regular conditions, its in the range of minutes, maybe up to hours.
RNA isn't that stable. (In labs, it needs to be handled specially. You need to either freeze it a deep temperatures (you put your RNA samples in the -80C freezer) or copy/convert it to DNA (use a reverse-transcriptase to make much more stable DNA out of it).

The number one way ti's transmitted bird to bird is through shared drinking water.

...as in one birds poops into the water while another is drinking (= oro-fecal pathway I mentioned 2 levels higher in the thread). Not as in 2 birds which happen to drink from the same river a few apart. You need a time frame of a few minutes up to a couple of hours max.
(In birds, poop contains the biggest amount of virus, and as it moist and protects from light, viruses have the highest chance for surviving a longer time).

It's the bird's equivalent of humans sneezing on each other's face. (You can catch flu this way. Whereas, your risks of catching flu by walking in the same room as where someone sneeze the day before are bleak) (in humans that's aerosol/particulate transmission).

But handling raw chicken with the virus can cause it to spread.

By the time the chicken reaches the kitchen, most of the virus will probably have died/become inactive. Chance of transmission at this point in the chain of the poultry production are low. But are much higher at the other side of the chain.
At some point of time the dead chicken in your dish (and in the kitchen of the restaurant where you're eating) used to be alive (I realise that I'm starting to sound like a Monthy Python's sketch).
This chicken has been slaughtered, de feathered, butchered and otherwise conditioned before being sent to the restaurant.
At that point of time, the chicken was alive not so long ago (so there should be still active virus in it), and the whole preparation is bound to release quite a lot of the virus in the air. People working at this point in the chain (very often the farmers themselves) are at a higher risk.

We're still speaking of only a dozen of people per year, though.

Now the problem is that this transmission (bird-to-human) is so rare, that we don't really have enough stats to support this kind of conclusion. All I can say is that all the bird-to-human transmission I've heard about in the past were in people handling the birds (farmers, and the like), none of them were people working in the kitchen of restaurants service poultry, nor people eating chicken.
But well, with such a small pool (a dozen of cases per year) nothing is really 100% sure. We definitely lack enough data to give the exact life-time of a virus, or the odds of infection at each precise stage of poultry preparation, between the farm all the way to your dish.

And any way, this is bio science, not hardcore-hard science. Anything can happen anyway (although we're slowly drifting into the kind of "anything" territory, as western people in big city catching malaria although they've never travelled abroad ever, but just happen to live near an airport, and managed to get bitten by a mosquito which travelled all the way from Africa while trapped on a plain. This kind of Rube Goldbergesque situation does happen, but we're speaking single-digit amount of cases in total)

Re:Biology 101 (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#42407345)

Then why did 6 people die already from it? I thought you said humans can't get the virus?

Are you a doctor or biologists as you sure think you are one.

Re:Biology 101 (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#42409155)

A few years back, the only people that made the news whom got infected with bird flu were Asians handling chickens and ducks. Either farming or handling them for sport (cock fighting).

When dealing with outbreaks and mutations, it all comes down to statistics and probabilities. While anything is possible to happen in theory, it all comes down to known sets of circumstances. And while DrYak may be correct in everything is said, I personally don't feel like rolling the dice on eating cooked chicken that's been known to have been infected. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

Deaths (1)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 years ago | (#42416817)

Then why did 6 people die already from it? I thought you said humans can't get the virus?

Yup, a dozen of people caught the disease, out of whom 6 died.

Now to put things into perspective, according to WHO [who.int] , each season, regular human flu infection gets *half a dozen millions* of individuals out of which *up to half a million* die.

The number of "bird flu in humans" is so small that it looks like a fluke. As I said before :

It can only *very very very rarely* enter a human host, only by sheer luck, almost *by error*. We're speaking about a few dozens of individuals each year during avian flu outbreaks, and this is mostly the poeple who are exposed to birds a lot (the farmers handling them working in the overcrowded farms with thousand of chicken cramed in a small place. not the guy eating a chicken wing).

Life sciences are not hardcore-hard sciences. You can never say "never" nor "always". There will always be some weird exception. If you start digging literature for weird case reports you could probably even find single digit occurrences of probable infection by things for which we aren't even the normally taxonomic phylum (who knows that one single virus might have a just that critical mutation just right before jumping onto you). FFS, the human genome contains genes which originally come from life forms to which we aren't even evolutionarily related (if you're curious, it's called "Horizontal Gene Transfer", normally *bacteria* are the ones doing it a lot, but well, never say "never", apparently even the human genome stole a few genes this way).

If you're that much concerned about getting avian flu, go play the lottery instead. Your odds are better at winning cash than catching bird-cold.

Now to back to the poor schmucks who died of avian flu:
- They are people who get exposed to birds a lot (I mention farmers, DigiShaman mentions cock fighting handlers). They get exposed tu much more massive amount of virus. More viruses are playing the "let's try to hop to a human" game, odds of 1 of them winning this game are higher.
- As I mentioned before, these aren't rich westerner in a big modern rich city, they are poor guys in backwaters. Once these get sick, they don't have an as easy access to proper treatments as the former. And risks to get a complication (pneumonia) are higher for them.
(- And for the biologically inclined there might be a - though less important, but interesting - 3rd factor. As this is a bird disease, it looks a lot less like previous seasons' flu than the regular human flu, and thus the white blood cells have a lot less "prior knowledge" to leverage in fighting this peculiar disease. In biological term: chances are lower that one of the "memory B and T cells" have a receptor which more or less works a tiny bit with the newer virus. Same reasons why the last swine flu could more easily infect younger people than the previous flu: it didn't look like anything we've seen since in the last 60 years).

So even if you managed to win the lottery and catch avian flu:
- your personal odds at surviving it are much higher as you'll seek a doctor if you don't feel well and you do have access to proper medication.
- you will probably NOT be dangerous to people around you: the 1 virus who got you has had an enormous chance of managing to infect you across specie barrier. To infect another human, it would need to have the same luck twice in a row. *very-very-very* unlikely... but...
- ...if you happen to have a normal human flu virus inside you at the same time, due to the special way in which influenza genetics works, then there's a risk that both will mix and produce a hybrid which has the human flu's ability to bind to and infect human cells easily.
(Same logic as above also applies to pigs but with a much higher risk for them catching a bird flu)

So I stand by what I've said before:

You can catch bird flu, if you're a (living) human and you got sneezed on by sick birds several thousand times a day in the tiny overcrowded farm where you work and you are not lucky. {...} Bird flu is not dangerous to humans per se. But if it spreads among birds, you increase the chance of making a hybrid which will be abble to spread among humans.

Are you a doctor or biologists as you sure think you are one.

Yup, I happen to have a medical degree, and an additional degree in bioinformatics, if that's of any interest for you.

Re:No risk in the meat (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42405279)

" (it was already a big amount of luck that the *bird* virus managed to infect a human. Jumping from that point onward to another human *again* is like winning a lottery 2 times in a row: *very* unlikely)."
no. It's a numbers game, not 'luck' it will happen. And it's a lot more likely then winning the lottery.

Chicken sluaghter in mass to stop a epidemic from spreading further aren't slaughter with any care toward the fact that people will be eating them.

The virus can also live on the chicken product, so you mus take proper precaution. Proper precautions happen to also be the same recommend for general handling of chicken. Killing the chicken doesn't kill the virus. Proper disposing disposing of the carcass does.

So to stay safe, the advice is the same for protecting against any infection from poultry:

Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.
Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403333)

Strangely, as U.S. food prices have skyrocketed (thank deficit spending and quantitative easing), the price of chicken has stayed very low. Sometimes I'll pass on bell peppers at $4 each and yet buy whole chickens for $2 and change, each. The only thing cheaper by weight is potatoes. Vegetables and fruit is outrageously expensive nowadays. That's just for chicken, though. Other meat prices have gone up.

So I couldn't imagine planning a wedding around the price of chicken. But with all the stupid shit we have to buy for weddings, the raw food prices are relatively unimportant.

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42405439)

"as U.S. food prices have skyrocketed"
what?

"on bell peppers at $4 each"
holy crap. That must be based on location and not deficit spending and quantitative easing.

My kids love Bell peppers so I buy them regularly. Never seen them higher the 2 dollars, and that's in a bad year off season.
Lets forget personal anecdote and look at the numbers:
http://www.bls.gov/ro3/apmw.htm [bls.gov]

Hey, food prices are down in the US.
There was a spike in 08/09. then slight trend down.

But you keep going on about how your preceived food increase is the fault of thank deficit spending and quantitative easing

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42405655)

Quote what you want, but I can say first hand that money buys a lot less at the grocery store than it did a few years ago. I don't trust any .gov with inflation related numbers, since artificially low rates bring in 40 cents of every dollar of government spending. If they reported what I see, and stopped factoring in the housing crash, rates would rise and immediately bankrupt the entire federal government.

As for Quantitative Easing, create more of any scarce resource and it drives down the value of the existing supply. Basic basic economics. It's a dirty rotten trick to tax our savings because taxing our income gets politicians voted out of office. Everybody's all worried about the debt. But the debt doesn't matter if they can inflate it away, and they know it.

Re:there will be a sudden uprise in weddings... (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42403411)

Or you could mark "fish" on your card, lol. Just kidding, but you could pretend to be a vegetarian. They pretty much have to comply with that.

ALL POULTRY SHALL FEAR THE NAME OF... (3, Funny)

eexaa (1252378) | about 2 years ago | (#42402799)

...Mosaddeq, the Destroyer of Chickens!

Reading this story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42402839)

...totally killed my duck.

5 days left in 2012 (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#42402967)

And so it begins.

150,000 is not 'giant' (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 2 years ago | (#42403033)

I recently visited a poultry farm. The big surprise there was the density of the farm: a single building, maybe 50x30 m housed 60,000 chickens. Now this was a farm that complies with 'free range' criteria, but there's still ~40 chickens per m^2 (in ~6 levels in a column of 2.5 m high). So the 150k chickens would fit in less than a hectare. The numbers involved in chicken farming boggle the mind.

Food Inc (0)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#42403091)

I watched this on Netflix. Makes you want to give up meat altogether.

Re:Food Inc (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42405453)

Why? it's full of hyperbole, isdirect and lies, all wrapped up to scare you.
Like Super Size me, and Gasland.

Re:Food Inc (1)

Shempster (2523982) | about 2 years ago | (#42406675)

Those chickens were most likely buried alive. i.e. Chickens Buried Alive - Culling [youtube.com] , and Chickens Alive in Bags before buried Alive [youtube.com] The food processing and factory farm/aggribusiness lobbies are the most effective at shielding the general public from severely cruel and unethical operations to maximize profits. These are living animals with advanced nervous systems and brains. So laugh at this [youtube.com]

Re:Food Inc (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#42407017)

You must be that 1% that trusts the Government and FDA.

In Finland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42403345)

In Finland, my pet duck has to be kept indoors for two months every spring, as required by the authorities. It was also mandatory for me to register the duck, so that the authorities can come to check him out, if they so wish. I don't recall there ever having been a single bird flu incident in this country.

a man in Brazil is coughing (2)

Destoo (530123) | about 2 years ago | (#42403625)

Madagascar closes its port.

medicaldaily.com (1)

Georules (655379) | about 2 years ago | (#42404387)

Please stop linking medicaldaily.com. One auto-playing video ad is bad enough, but it has 2 auto-playing video ads with unsynced or different sound all-together.

Re:medicaldaily.com (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#42405115)

Now you know why we don't RTFA around here.

Re:medicaldaily.com (1)

Georules (655379) | about 2 years ago | (#42408925)

You'd think I would have learned by now, having a sub 1 million uid.

A cure: cerebral dead! (1)

HHealthy (2803519) | about 2 years ago | (#42407991)

It is pretty funny that so much money is expend every year and so litle significative advances are reached. Before the backslash...I agree some significative improvements are reached after a thousand small steps, but what I want emphasize is the litle direct attack to the problem at task. We have bird flu and we start to research about it, we want to know every litle detail, we believe that if we can fullfil the database of knoledge about it the cure will appear by miracle in our faces. I agree that knowing more a more may increase the chances of finding a solution, but what about a direct attack? This is what I know about the dissease and now I'm gonna spend days, weeks, months thinking how to solve the issue, what technical or technological improvements may achieve it. Unforunatedly research to often correlates to re-search, rere-search, rerere-search, others may find familiar sampling, resampling, reresampling, pippeting, up,down,updown...we are lazy when it comes to think but can spend a ton of minutes doing repetitive tasks...

Re:A cure: cerebral dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42408353)

dude, you've eaten way too much LSD. Next time ask a sober friend to check your posts for coherence before posting them.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?