Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Avian Flu Virus Strikes Hong Kong

Ah, those pesky chickens.

Hong Kong reported its first case of avian flu virus on Monday.  In a fine example of clear reporting, the news article states that:

"The 36-year-old Indonesian woman may have contracted the deadly virus after traveling across the mainland border to Shenzhen, where she purchased a chicken, slaughtered it and then ate it, health officials said.  Exposure to live poultry is believed to be a major source of transmission of the H7N9 virus, which has killed 45 people in eastern China since it was detected earlier this year." 

I wish they would be a little more clear.  What exactly constitutes "exposure to live poultry"?  Does that refer to her plucking the bird and cutting its throat?  Or is she sucking down sashimi chicken, in raw and bloody slivers?  I am picturing this woman performing all kinds of voodoo magic in Shenzhen.  You would think the article would at least explain what constitutes risky behavior, or highlight the specific acts that can lead to transmission of the virus.

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