ProMED Digest Monday, June 5 2006 Volume 2006 : Number 263
Seeing the H5N1 situation in Indonesia, I wonder whether “integrated” fish farming plays an important role in sustaining H5N1 [a concern conservationists have raised. I received an email regarding a truck load of chicken manure being dumped into a Vietnamese lake each day
as fish food. At one time, FAO promoted such farming methods].

Not that fish catch the flu, but dumping manure and carcasses into ponds and having them eaten by fish possibly results in ponds that can be reservoirs for flu virus [and possibility of transfer via farm fish, in bellies, on skins, or with water if live fish are transported?].

See also “Chicken dung used to feed fish may help spread bird flu” in 20051228.3697, as well as Mod. MHJ’s commentary in 20060518.1396: “…depositing poultry faeces into the pond water would put any wildfowl swimming in those waters at a real risk of becoming infected…Birds faeces repeatedly trucked in for fish food would act in the same way as a constant risk to birds flying into and out of the fish pond areas”.

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My conclusion is that migratory birds acquire infection and either die if susceptible or serve as transitory shedders, establishing rolling infections among diverse species. Once HPAI is introduced into an area, deficiencies in biosecurity, including primitive farming practices and live bird sales requiring movement by itinerant traders, disseminates infection. Humans with sialic acid 2-3 glycan receptors are unfortunately zapped.


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Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 14:31:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: ProMED-mail
Source: AP 6 May 2006 [edited] [This arrived a while ago but as it was not urgent I awaited a suitable opportunity to post it. – mod.MHJ]

Muntilan, Indonesia:

When chickens began dying at his local market, Darmanto gratefully collected them from vendors, chopped them up and tossed the raw meat to his pet catfish.

He never wore gloves, and remembers smoking a cigarette with a bloody hand as he watched hundreds of fish greedily gobble up the scrawny black carcasses.

The thought of bird flu never crossed Darmanto’s mind, it couldn’t. He had never heard of it until he himself became ill, hospitalised with a burning 41 C fever [105.8 F], a racing heart and a tightness in his chest that left him struggling to breathe….

“If I had known about bird flu, I would have done a lot of things differently, I would have taken precautions to protect myself and my family,” said the father of 2, who does not understand even today how he could get sick from dead chicken, or how he survived.

Darmanto, 46, attributes his good fortune to “traditional herbal medicine, a strong spirit, and the will to live.”


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