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November 21, 2005

Vaccination could backfire on China

The International Herald Tribune quotes American experts as saying bird flu plan could backfire on China.

Vaccination teams could easily carry the virus from farm to farm on their shoes, clothes and equipment unless they changed or sterilized them each time, the experts said last week. That practice could be particularly difficult in a country like China, where the veterinary care system is underfinanced and millions of birds are kept in small flocks by families.

Also, experts said, the task is likely to be overwhelming because the Chinese eat about 14 billion chickens a year, so mass vaccinations would have to be repeated again and again, while the risk of the disease being reintroduced by migratory birds, in which it is now endemic, would be constant.

carrying the disease would be a good example of one of my favourite words: "iatrogenic" means a disease caused by efforts to heal.

Posted by dymaxion at November 21, 2005 11:18 AM

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