No announcement yet.

China - Qinghai Lake bird die-off in 2005 - H5N1 historical collection of news reports

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • China - Qinghai Lake bird die-off in 2005 - H5N1 historical collection of news reports

    We do not have these reports because FluTrackers was not started until February 2006. Since other Flublogia news sites from that era are no longer in existence (original Flu Wiki, Curevents, Effect Measure) I will try to re-create that data on this thread.

    Qinghai geese died suddenly suspected bird flu infected ( May 10, 2005 )
    China Qinghai Lake nature reserve spot head gaggle died suddenly occur, the relevant units denied because of bird flu, the investigation is still underway, the Qinghai bird-watching area is now closed.


    Early death of migratory birds in Qinghai proved deadly bird flu ( May 21, 2005 )
    WASHINGTON May 21 reported] (CNA on the 21st AFP Beijing) Chinese Ministry of Agriculture said today that migratory birds found dead in western Qinghai province early in the case, the test confirmed avian flu


    Qinghai part migratory birds infected bird flu death ( May 22, 2005 )

    Gangcha County in Qinghai Province is hemp rope Springs Village, Kyrgyzstan Township of migratory birds died, authorities confirmed that they are infected with H5N1 avian influenza.


    Qinghai outbreak of avian flu ( May 22, 2005 )


    Qinghai outbreak of deadly bird flu killed millions of birds (Figure) ( 24 May 2005 )

    China Qinghai outbreak of deadly bird flu led to hundreds of migratory birds were killed. Currently authorities have issued a notice to take urgent measures to control the spread of the bird flu virus to the provinces and municipalities. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization agreed to take additional measures to stop the spread of viruses such as SARS and avian influenza on a global scale. Annual meeting in Geneva, the World Health Organization adopted a proposal to update the provisions of isolation and travel restrictions. WHO requires Member States to adopt a tough new measures include: At the outbreak of the time, such as Texas or avian influenza was immediately inform the United Nations, to take immediate control measures on airports, ports and land borders, prevent the proliferation of the virus in the world. World Health Organization noted that in the jet age, diseases are easily spread rapidly to any corner of the world. The purpose of the development of new regulations is to ensure maximum protection of people against the international spread of disease victims, but also to minimize the impact on international travel and trade. But the WHO said that the organization now has the power, if it is necessary in the circumstances, to take compulsory quarantine and travel restrictions and other measures on the incidence countries.

    Link to all of the above articles in red:


    Qinghai viral outbreaks of mass bird deaths infection picture information
    (Boxun June 3, 2005) June 3, 2005 Xining news, according to sources of supply insiders, now just part of the picture data collected from the issue, the following image information recording time is May 27, 2005 Bird Island blockade, the picture provided by insiders for safety reasons can not provide information on the person, you can understand the serious harm through the pictures of avian flu, almost the entire Bird Island birds of hell, we will try to prove people infected collect photographic evidence to refute the government's absurd remarks. Shooting Bird Island area is the area of infection and a relatively large number of deaths. Figure 1 from afar, a birds of hell, the dead birds everywhere, the air almost see birds flying in Figure 3 from the recent push, you can see many birds have died, many birds are still dying, standing Bird is running, according to the visual, only when the number of dead birds over thousands. Lanzhou forwarding (Modified on 2005/6/04) (Boxun

    machine translation

  • #2 2005年05月27日15:07 Xinhua
      Xinhua News: Qinghai to the 26th bird flu has killed including bar-headed geese, fish, gulls, including more than 1,000 migratory birds died.

    machine translation


    • #3
      Initial government denial - posted on ProMED......

      Published Date: 2005-05-10 23:50:00
      Subject: PRO/AH> Unexplained deaths, geese - China (Qinghai): RFI
      Archive Number: 20050510.1278

      ************************************************** ******************
      A ProMED-mail post
      ProMED-mail is a program of the
      International Society for Infectious Diseases
      Date: 9 May 2005
      From: Christian Griot <>
      Source: Agence France Presse [edited]

      China rules out bird flu on deaths of 178 geese
      China on Monday [9 May 2005] ruled out bird flu as responsible for the
      deaths of 178 spot-headed geese in a nature reserve, but was unable to say
      what had killed them. Local officials and state media said the geese had
      been dying since 6 May 2005 at the Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve in the north
      west province of Qinghai.
      "I can confirm these birds have died, but it is not bird flu," said an
      official, who refused to be named, at the Qinghai provincial administration
      for wild animals and plants. "They died of disease, but we don't know what
      it is. We are still investigating; there are no results yet, but no bird
      flu virus has been found," he told Agence France Presse.
      Xinhua news agency said local animal and bird experts were still probing
      the cause of death and had temporarily shut down the viewing platform on
      the birds' islet in the nature reserve. The H5N1 strain of bird flu has
      been discovered in 8 countries since late 2003, including China, Viet Nam,
      Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, and South Korea.
      Tens of millions of chickens have been culled as a result, while 36
      Vietnamese, 12 Thais and one Cambodian have died.
      Christian Griot
      [This article does not give any clinical signs, so it is impossible to
      suggest differential diagnoses. We would appreciate more information on
      this situation. - Mod.TG]


      • #4
        OIE confirmation of H5N1 in 2005 Qinghai bird die-off.......

        1,2 Yanbing Li,3 Jianzhong Shi,3 Qiaoling Qi,3 Guohua Deng,3 Guobin Tian,3 Haidan Zhao,3 Gongxun Zhong,3 and Hualan Chen3,4 1

        Presentation at the FAO and OIE International Scientific Conference on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, FAO, Rome, 30 and 31 May 2006 3 Animal Influenza Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, 427 Maduan Street, Harbin 150001, People’s Republic of China 4 Corresponding author (email:

        ABSTRACT: Highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza A viruses (HPAI H5N1) are widely distributed among poultry in Asia, but until recently only a limited number of wild birds were affected. During late April–June 2005, an outbreak of HPAI H5N1 infection occurred among wild birds at Qinghai Lake in China. First identified in bar-headed geese (Anser indicus), the disease soon spread to other avian species populating the lake. Sequence analysis of 15 viruses from six avian species and collected at different times during the outbreak revealed four different H5N1 genotypes. Most of the isolates possessed lysine at position 627 in the PB2 protein, a residue known to be associated with virulence in mice and adaptation to humans. However, neither of the two index viruses possessed this residue. Importantly, H5N1 viruses isolated in Mongolia, Russia, and Inner Mongolia were genetically closely related to one of the genotypes isolated during the Qinghai outbreak. This genotype virus also spread to some countries in Europe and Africa, suggesting its dominant nature and underscoring the need for worldwide intensive surveillance to minimize its devastating consequences. Key words: Avian influenza virus, highly pathogenic H5N1, wild birds. Received for publication 15 December 2006.


        • #5
          The Qinghai outbreak is significant because it was the first indicator that the H5N1 virus was infecting wild birds on a massive scale. Wide geographical spread seemed inevitable:

          "From 1997 to May 2005, H5N1 viruses were largely confined to Southeast Asia, but after they had infected wild birds in Qinghai Lake, China, they rapidly spread westward. The deaths of swans and geese marked H5N1's spread into Europe, India, and Africa. Infections with highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses were confirmed in poultry in Turkey in mid-October 2005, and the first confirmed human cases in Turkey occurred in early January 2006. Thus, H5N1 influenza viruses continue to emerge from the epicenter."

          NEJM - H5N1 Influenza — Continuing Evolution and Spread
          Robert G. Webster, Ph.D., and Elena A. Govorkova, M.D., Ph.D.
          N Engl J Med 2006; 355:2174-2177
          November 23, 2006
          DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp068205


          • #6
            from CIDRAP -

            Wild birds could spread H5N1 virus beyond Asia, reports say

            By: Robert Roos

            | Jul 06, 2005

            Jul 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The recent outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza among wild waterfowl in western China could provide a launching pad to spread the disease throughout Asia and beyond, according to two reports published by leading science journals today.

            Thousands of birds have died in the past 2 months at Qinghai Lake, a wildlife refuge that is an important gathering site for many species of waterfowl. World Health Organization officials have described the outbreak as the first one to kill large numbers of migratory birds.

            Two teams of scientists who studied the outbreak report some early findings today in online editions of Nature and Science. Both see a danger that the disease, confined mainly to Southeast Asia and East Asia so far, could vastly expand its range.
            "There is a danger that it [the H5N1 virus] might be carried along the birds' winter migration routes to densely populated areas in the south Asian subcontinent, a region that seems free of this virus, and spread along migratory flyways linked to Europe," says a report by H. Chen and colleagues in Nature."This would vastly expand the geographic distribution of H5N1."

            In Science, a large team of Chinese authors under the leadership of George F. Gao of Beijing writes, "The occurrence of highly pathogenic H5N1 . . . infection in migratory waterfowl indicates that this virus has the potential to be a global threat: Lake Qinghaihu is a breeding center for migrant birds that congregate from Southeast Asia, Siberia, Australia, and New Zealand."
            The Nature report says the illness was killing more than 100 birds daily at Qinghai Lake by early May. Ninety percent of the birds that died were bar-headed geese, and the rest were brown-headed gulls and great black-headed gulls.

            Chen and colleagues analyzed the genes of 97 H5N1 viruses isolated from all three species and concluded that they were "clearly distinguishable" from strains that have caused human cases in Thailand and Vietnam. "This indicates that the virus causing the outbreak at Qinghai Lake was a single introduction, most probably from poultry in southern China," the report says.

            "Our findings indicate that H5N1 viruses are now being transmitted between migratory birds at the lake," the article continues. "Although the outbreak could burn itself out, the large migratory bird population at Qinghai Lake makes this unlikely." Bar-headed geese fly south from the refuge to Myanmar and India starting in September, the authors say.

            "Increased surveillance of poultry is called for because previous experience has shown that control measures become almost impossible once the virus is entrenched in poultry populations," the report concludes.

            Gao's team writes that the infection caused tremors, spasms, diarrhea, and brain and pancreatic damage in the migratory birds. The team analyzed four viral isolates from the birds and found that they were closely related, but not identical, to a strain found in a peregrine falcon in Hong Kong in 2004.

            The investigators tested the virulence of the virus from the birds by exposing eight chickens and eight mice to it. All the chickens died within 20 hours and all the mice died within 4 days. In a study last year, Chen and colleagues found that H5N1 viruses taken from ducks in China were less lethal to mice and chickens.

            Neither of the new reports mentions any testing to determine whether healthy birds at Qinghai Lake are silently carrying the virus. Wild waterfowl are known as the natural reservoir for all influenza A viruses (of which H5N1 is one) and commonly carry them without getting sick.

            David A. Halvorson, DVM, a veterinarian in avian health at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, said the two new studies are not the first ones to report wild waterfowl getting sick as a result of H5N1 infection. "But before, they thought that one possibility was that the waterfowl were getting it from the poultry," he told CIDRAP News. "And now this seems to be kind of isolated from poultry, so it looks like the waterfowl are having their own infection, and transmitting it among themselves."

            The outbreak clearly signals a risk that the H5N1 virus could spread out of East Asia, Halvorson said. But he added, "The fact of the matter is, the potential for it to be transmitted via flyways has been here all along. The fact it's killing these birds, does it mean there's a greater chance of its being spread or less of a chance? If you have a highly pathogenic virus that's not killing the geese, it seems to me it would be a higher risk of transmission."

            Infectious disease expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, commented, "The key message [of the new reports] is that this has potential to spread throughout Asia and Europe." He is director of the University of Minnesota Center for InfectiousDisease Research and Policy, publisher of this Web site.

            Osterholm cited the spread of West Nile virus in the United States over the past 6 years as a potential parallel to the current H5N1 situation. The virus spread among birds congregating in southern regions in winter and then traveled with them when they returned north and dispersed across the country in summer, he said.

            Chen H, Smith GJD, Zhang SY, et al. H5N1 virus outbreak in migratory waterfowl. Nature 2005 (published online Jul 6) [Full Text]
            Liu J, Xiao H, Lei F, et al. Highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza infection in migratory birds. Science 2005 (published online Jul 6) [Abstract]



            • #7
              first mention on crof blog:

              May 22, 2005

              China issues avian flu alert

              According to BBC NEWS, China has discovered that avian flu is killing wild geese that are bringing the virus into the country.
              We had similar concerns here in British Columbia last year, when millions of chickens and other fowl were killed to stop an outbreak of avian flu—while wild ducks and geese were continuing to fly into the region.



              • #8

                Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisis

                GRAIN | 26 February 2006 | Reports

                GRAIN | February 2006
                [We have compiled a bird flu resource page with relevant publications, articles and links -]
                Backyard or free-range poultry are not fuelling the current wave of bird flu outbreaks stalking large parts of the world. The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is essentially a problem of industrial poultry practices. Its epicentre is the factory farms of China and Southeast Asia and -- while wild birds can carry the disease, at least for short distances -- its main vector is the highly self-regulated transnational poultry industry, which sends the products and waste of its farms around the world through a multitude of channels. Yet small poultry farmers and the poultry biodiversity and local food security that they sustain are suffering badly from the fall-out. To make matters worse, governments and international agencies, following mistaken assumptions about how the disease spreads and amplifies, are pursuing measures to force poultry indoors and further industrialise the poultry sector. In practice, this means the end of the small-scale poultry farming that provides food and livelihoods to hundreds of millions of families across the world. This paper presents a fresh perspective on the bird flu story that challenges current assumptions and puts the focus back where it should be: on the transnational poultry industry.


                Wild birds and poultry should not mix?
                The movement of migratory birds has caused outbreaks to emerge in several countries and regions simultaneously.
                FAO, November 2005[11]
                Despite such statements from the FAO or the WHO, there is still little evidence of migratory birds carrying and transmitting highly pathogenic H5N1. After testing hundreds of thousands of wild birds for the disease, scientists have only rarely identified live birds carrying bird flu in a highly pathogenic form.[12] As the FAO has stated as recently as November 2005, "To date, extensive testing of clinically normal migratory birds in the infected countries has not produced any positive results for H5N1 so far."[13] Nearly all wild birds that have tested positive for the disease were dead and, in most cases, found near to outbreaks in domestic poultry. Even with the current cases of H5N1 in wild birds in Europe, experts agree that these birds probably contracted the virus in the Black Sea region, where H5N1 is well-established in poultry, and died while heading westward to escape the unusually cold conditions in the area.
                One popular incident cited in the case against wild birds was a mass outbreak of H5N1 among geese in Qinghai Lake, Northern China. A theory was quickly constructed of how the virus was then carried westwards by migratory birds to Kazakhstan, Russia and even Turkey. But bird conservationists, and notably the organisation BirdLife International, pointed out that Qinghai Lake has many surrounding poultry operations. They also noted that there is a fish farm in the area that the FAO helped construct, and that chicken faeces are commonly used as food and fertiliser in integrated fish farms in China.[14] Furthermore, many trains and roads connect the Qinghai Lake area to areas of bird flu outbreaks, like Lanzhou, the source of infected poultry that caused an earlier outbreak of H5N1 in Tibet, 1,500 miles away.[15] However, none of these alternative scenarios drew much attention from the FAO or other major international authorities.
                The main weakness in the migratory bird theory is that the geographical spread of the disease does not match with migratory routes and seasons. "No species migrates from Qinghai, China, west to Eastern Europe," says BirdLife's Dr Richard Thomas. "When plotted, the pattern of outbreaks follows major road and rail routes, not flyways. And the absence of outbreaks in Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Australasia this autumn is hard to explain, if wild birds are the primary carriers."[16] If migratory birds are transmitting the disease, why has bird flu not hit the Philippines or Burma, and why has it been confined to a few commercial operations in Laos, when all three countries are surrounded by bird flu-infected countries? Even if it is possible for migratory birds to transport the disease, as recent cases in Europe suggest, there are much more significant vectors of transmission that should be the focus of attention. There is simply no good reason to batten down the hatches and force poultry indoors.

                Backyard chickens: vectors or victims?
                The bird conservation community has helped us to understand how wild birds are victims not vectors of highly pathogenic avian influenza.[17] The highly pathogenic strains of bird flu develop in poultry, most likely in poultry exposed to milder strains that live naturally in wild bird populations. Within crowded poultry operations, the mild virus evolves rapidly towards more pathogenic and highly transmissible forms, capable of jumping species and spreading back into wild birds, which are defenseless against the new strain. In this sense, H5N1 is a poultry virus killing wild birds, not the other way around.[18]
                The same argument holds for small-scale poultry production. Bird flu does not evolve to highly pathogenic forms in backyard poultry operations, where low-density and genetic diversity keep the viral load to low levels. Backyard poultry are the victims of bird flu strains brought in from elsewhere.
                When backyard farms are separated from the source of highly pathogenic bird flu, the virus seems to die out or evolve towards a less pathogenic form.
                The FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) report that there is evidence that H5N1 is adapting to village chicken in the same way that it has adapted to domestic ducks and that there is "growing evidence that the survival of the virus in smallholder and backyard poultry is dependent on replenishment".[19] It is in crowded and confined industrial poultry operations that bird flu, like other diseases, rapidly evolves and amplifies (see Box 1).

                Box 1: Lessons from Newcastle disease
                Oddly, in all the discussion of bird flu there is little reference to parallel experiences with other diseases. Newcastle disease, for example, has already become endemic in most poultry farming areas and vaccination against the disease is now a routine activity for poultry farmers around the world.
                Like bird flu, Newcastle comes in mild and highly pathogenic forms. In its endemic form, Newcastle is not a big worry. It typically kills a few baby chicks out of an infected flock and only occasionally results in large die-offs when birds are susceptible.
                The virus becomes a major problem when it enters into factory farms. According to researchers Alders and Spradbrow, "In large commercial poultry units, the virus enters flocks through some break in biological security [on food, people, eggs, vehicles], by the introduction of infected birds in multi-age farms, or by aerosol [in the air] from an adjoining property. Once a few birds are infected, spread within the flock will be mainly by aerosol. Large flocks will produce copious quantities of aerosol virus, which can spread with movements of air to other flocks."[20]
                It is within this context that the disease can mutate into a highly pathogenic form and wipe out entire flocks. An Australian outbreak in 1998, for instance, killed 10,000 chickens and led to the slaughter of another 100,000. The outbreak took authorities by surprise, as tight quarantine controls had seemingly kept the country free of highly pathogenic strains for 60 years.
                "We had assumed it had been brought in from overseas," said Jeff Fairbrother, Executive Director of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation. However, later research by virologists showed that the outbreak occurred when an endemic strain of the virus entered into a factory farm and mutated into a virulent form.[21]
                The Australian authorities didn't respond by going after backyard flocks or wild birds potentially carrying the disease and they didn't just accept industry claims about the "biosecurity" of their operations. They made vaccination mandatory for farms with over 500 birds. And what about backyard flocks? Were they also subjected to mandatory vaccination? According to the government's information brochure on the disease outbreak:
                "No. A very mild form of Newcastle disease virus is present in all States. Providing that strain does not mutate into something virulent, it poses no threat to birds. The outbreaks we had on the mainland between 1998 and 2002 were caused by a mutation of the endemic mild strain (known as Peats Ridge 1998) into a virulent strain of the virus. All the available evidence indicates that, for such a mutation to occur, it needs a large number of birds in a small area to "generate" the virus mutation process. In simple terms, a small number of birds cannot generate enough virus for the mutation process to occur."[22]...
                Never forget Excalibur.
                “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed
                Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)