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Medicine

Deadly Avian Flu Strain Penetrates Biosecurity Defenses In Seoul 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the cover-your-mouth dept.
sciencehabit writes "A new, deadly H5N8 strain of avian influenza penetrated the biosecurity defenses of a National Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) campus near Seoul, prompting authorities to cull all of the facility's 11,000 hens and 5000 ducks. The incident highlights the difficulty of protecting poultry farms from circulating avian influenza viruses. 'We are taking this situation very seriously,' said Lee Jun-Won, deputy agriculture minister, at a press conference yesterday in Seoul. He noted that NIAS has the country's most secure facilities and most vigilant staff. Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus: wild birds, NIAS vehicles, and supply deliveries. 'We will determine the reason for the infection, and we are going to hold those responsible accountable,' he said."
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Deadly Avian Flu Strain Penetrates Biosecurity Defenses In Seoul

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  • Nature... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:48PM (#46414651) Homepage Journal

    Nature is most perseverant. Sure glad I don't eat any poultry products, by products from Korea. At least, I don't think I do, but that Poisoned Milk thing from China showed just how global food distribution is, even to a seemingly unrelated supplier half way around the world.

    perhaps we could learn to enjoy rubber chickens

  • by penix1 (722987) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:56PM (#46414709) Homepage

    Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus: wild birds, NIAS vehicles, and supply deliveries. 'We will determine the reason for the infection, and we are going to hold those responsible accountable,' he said."

    OK... Just how do you hold wild birds accountable???

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:59PM (#46414727) Homepage Journal

      Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus: wild birds, NIAS vehicles, and supply deliveries. 'We will determine the reason for the infection, and we are going to hold those responsible accountable,' he said."

      OK... Just how do you hold wild birds accountable???

      Form a Fact Finding Committee, start several task forces, budget a few hundred million for the whole process, lose sight of the objective, point fingers, trade polarizing recriminations in media and ultimately issue a report that is over 1,000 pages long and nobody can even understand.

      Oh, wait, in Korea... put a net over it for a couple hundred dollars.

    • by durrr (1316311)

      Tell them to confess or else. When no one shows up you make an example out of the 16000 locked up birds you have available.

    • Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus: wild birds, NIAS vehicles, and supply deliveries. 'We will determine the reason for the infection, and we are going to hold those responsible accountable,' he said."

      OK... Just how do you hold wild birds accountable???

      DDT. It did a great job of lowering several species populations to the brink of extinction. As an added side benefit, it will also get rid of mosquitos and other pesky insects.

  • Watch out for the Zombies, and a malicious A.I.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @09:04PM (#46414751)

    Instead of fighting with the flu virus, why don't we negotiate with it? Maybe if it understands that it is harming us, we will all find a way to peacefully co-exist.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @09:08PM (#46414793)

    I read TFA, but I'm still not clear on this...did the virus escape from the facility's biosecurity defenses and infect animals in the wild, or did the virus penetrate the biosecurity defenses from animals in the wild to infect the facility's animals?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus"

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        "Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus"

        I wasn't clear if that meant out of their research building and onto the campus at large, or from offsite onto campus, but now I see a quote in TFA that clarifies it:

        . Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus: wild birds, NIAS vehicles, and supply deliveries

        So this seems much less scary, when I first read the summary, I thought a research virus had escaped from their facility to their bird flocks, but now it seems clear that someone tracked in the virus from outside, which is not surprising since it's hard to disinfect an entire supply truck.

    • I read TFA, but I'm still not clear on this...did the virus escape from the facility's biosecurity defenses and infect animals in the wild, or did the virus penetrate the biosecurity defenses from animals in the wild to infect the facility's animals?

      If it was clear it wouldn't be on /., silly :)

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Animal on the outside infected the birds at the research facility, according to the article.

  • In the age of the airliner, a poultry farmer wipes his nose the wrong way, shakes another guy's hand, 2d guy gets on a jet to Hong Kong, jet stops long enough to change crews and off to sunny California. Kills the guys in the first village, flight crew spreads it to Hong Kong, then right to the US in less than a day.

    We're fucked. Sooner or later. It's happened before.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre... [who.int]

    • by xtal (49134)

      1918. Less than 100 years ago. 3-5% of total world population died.

      People forget. History repeats. :(

      • Don't worry, humanity is not at the brink of extinction.

        I know it would be better for this planet if it was, but sadly it's not.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Anythig that spreads that fast isn't likely to kill someone in a few days.

      But 7 days later we are on alert and taking action.
      Another day and the people on slashdot are ranting about how 'they' are just being scaremonger, and how they never get the flu.

  • I would bet on the boots the workers are wearing. The treads are amazing at carrying around material.
  • This pork-barrel* will have a body count when it's all over: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Bio_and_Agro-Defense_Facility/ [wikipedia.org]

    * Rammed through by Senator Pat Roberts, who hilariously will probably lose re-election to an insane Tea-Bagger.
  • "... disinfecting and shoeing away wild birds ..." Must've taken a lot of shoes to shoo that many birds away.

    "Decimate" is to kill 1 in 10, not entirely eliminate.

  • Zerg are too strong in south korea. Nerf plz David Kim.
  • This story made me think of the game "Plague Inc." by Ndemic Creations [ndemiccreations.com]. I currently play it on my phone while in transit.
    The idea is to mutate and spread a pathogen (bacteria, virus, fungus, parasite, prion, nano-virus, bio-weapon, neurax worm, and the zombie-making necroa virus) until the whole world is dead, mind-controlled (neurax worm), or zombified (necroa virus).

    One of the ways to infect everyone is to acquire the ability to spread through birds, just like this article is about.

    The game aims to be clo

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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