Go to contents

Anxiety Over Fugen A Type Influenza and Bird Flu Combination

Anxiety Over Fugen A Type Influenza and Bird Flu Combination

Posted February. 03, 2004 22:55,   


A warning has appeared asserting that if the Fugen A type influenza virus, which has become prevalent throughout Europe and the United States, and the bird flu virus in Asia are combined, they could mutate into a sportive virus that could be fatal to humans.

In Thailand, another patient suspected of contracting the bird flu has died, increasing the death toll to 23 in the Asian region.

Possibility of Sportive Virus Appearance--

The World Health Organization warned on February 3 that the Fugen A type influenza virus (H3N2) and the bird flu virus (H5N1) could be combined to create a brand new and fatal mutant strain.

Since the end of the last year, the H3N2 virus has become prevalent in European regions such as Norway, Denmark, and Finland. The range of the virus’s rampancy has been spread towards Asia through Italy, the Ukraine, and Russia. WHO experts assume that this virus has already reached the Vietnam and Thailand area.

The H3N2 virus also raged in the United States at the end of 2003, killing 11 children and bringing about the vaccine shortage phenomenon. In advance, the WHO has warned that if the mutant virus appears, about 20 to 30 percent of the world’s population would be affected.

Diffusion of Damage--

In another suspected bird flu case, a 4-year-old male child was killed by the virus in Thailand. As of today, three officially confirmed bird flu patients, and 11 suspected patients have died in Thailand, increasing the death toll there to 23.

Quoting Taiwanese government sources, the journalism world in Hong Kong has reported that the point in time when the bird flu first broke out in China was prior to December at the latest, not around January 23 which the Chinese government has admitted previously. Ducks infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus were found aboard a smuggler’s fishing ship on December 21, 2003,

In Shanghai, the wholesale price of chickens has slumped from three yuan per 500 grams to 0.8 yuan, a 73 percent decline in price.

On the other hand, the price of chickens in Hong Kong, where most of the chicken consumption has been imported from China so far, has skyrocketed by more than 30 percent.

In Germany on February 2, the Tropical Disease Research Center of Hamburg revealed that tests came back negative on the female patient who had been a bird flu suspect.

Yoo-Sung Hwang Jin Lee yshwang@donga.com leej@donga.com