warning

February 12th, 2009

The good news is it’s raining for the first time in over 110 days. But nothing I’ve read suggests the rain will last or have much of an affect on the drought.

And so the bad news: We’ve now officially entered peak flu season. Here’s a warning: In dry weather it’s easy to catch colds and flus and generally diseases of the respiratory tract. Although I have to say I disagree with the inclusion of asthma in that list. Dry climates are better for asthmatics, as there’s less pollen and similar such allergens around.

And then there’s this article with a headline that reminded me of SARS:

北京布网监控不明肺炎病例

Beijing sets up network to monitor and control unknown pneumonias

What’s this about? Well, with the arrival of the Spring peak ‘flu season, the dry weather, the imminent peak return period of labourers and students from outside Beijing, and all this bird ‘flu that’s been lurking out there, the authorities want to keep a close eye on suspicious cases pneumonia, high fevers and coughing, and influenza of uncertain origin.

What can we do?

提醒公众主动预防人禽流感,做到不接触病死禽和野生禽鸟,不购买活禽,不购买流动商贩来源不明的禽类产品,烹调禽蛋时彻底煮熟。

The public is reminded to take the initiative to prevent human cases of bird ‘flu by not coming into contact with wild birds that have died of disease, not buying live birds, not buying bird products of unknown origin from itenerant vendors, and cooking eggs thoroughly.

Ditan and Youan Hospitals have been designated as epidemic hospitals and will treat human bird ‘flu cases. Specialised ambulances will be used to transport human bird ‘flu victims.

Also, relevant departments like health, agriculture and industry and commerce are working together on the prevention and control of human bird ‘flu. Live birds from outside Beijing that need to enter Beijing first need the approval of Beijing’s major animal disease command office (???北京市重大动物疫病指挥办公室) then must be taken directly to abattoirs in the area under the jurisdiction of Beijing Municipality.

So it seems they’ve got some pretty solid measures in place to prevent and control bird ‘flu, especially human cases. I just hope we don’t have to find out how effective those measures are.

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