Front page
Archive
Silflay Hraka?


Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar works at a regional newspaper
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

Email
bigwig AT nc.rr.com

Friends of Hraka
InstaPundit
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
ColdFury
Oceanguy
Fragments from Floyd
VodkaPundit
Allah
The Feces Flinging Monkey
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Sperari
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
ErosBlog
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Rantburg
AMCGLTD
WeckUpToThees!
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
Wizbang!
Bogieblog
ObscuroRant
RocketJones
The Greatest Jeneration
Ravenwolf
Ipse Dixit
TarHeelPundit
Blog On the Run
blogatron
Redwood Dragon
Notables
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
IMAO
Zonitics.com
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
HokiePundit
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
dcthornton.blog
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
IsraPundit
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Dustbury.com
tonecluster
Bo Cowgill
mtpolitics.net
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Hoplites
Jimspot
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Testify!
Northwest Notes
pseudorandom
The Blog from the Core
Ain'tNoBadDude
CroMagnon
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
Pdawwg
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Mercurial
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Foolsblog
Sasha Castel
Dodgeblogium
Susskins Central Dispatch
DoggerelPundit
Josh Heit
Attaboy
Aaron's Rantblog
MojoMark
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
Velociblog
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
DaGoddess
Single Southern Guy
Caerdroia
GrahamLester.Com
Jay Solo's Verbosity
TacJammer
Snooze Button Dreams
Horologium
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
Aimless
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Moxie.nu
Eccentricity
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
MonkeyWatch
Geekward Ho
Argghhh!!!
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
Fringe
The Biomes Blog
illinigirl
See What You Share
Truthprobe
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Consternations
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
ambivablog
Soccerdad
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
kschlenker.com
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Wizblog
tweedler
Pajama Pundits
BabyTrollBlog
Cadmusings
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

January 26, 2004

Flu Like the Birds

A map of the Southeast Asian H5N1 avian flu outbreak, courtesy BBC News.

Notice anything odd, like the fact that Malaysia, though surrounded by countries in which the flu has taken hold, has yet to report an outbreak?

Chua Jui Meng, the Malaysian Health Minister, has stated that the infection has yet to appear in Malaysia. He probably knows that he's lying, or at least suspects that he is. The difference depends on the efficacy of the Malaysian Health Ministry. Has H5N1 been detected, or is the Ministry simply incapable of discovering the disease until it becomes endemic in the domestic fowl population? Certainly denial and cover-up of disease outbreaks seem to be something of a theme when it comes to Malaysia, but denial can be just as deadly as general ineptness when it comes to disease. Just ask China about SARS.

Malaysia is not alone, however. The virus is almost certainly present in China and Burma (Myanmar) as well, international borders being very ineffective when it comes to arresting the outbreak of a disease carried by hosts that can fly. China at least suspects the presence of the avian flu virus, testing for it at a farm where hundreds of ducks are said to have died, but the reclusive, dictatorial government of Myanmar has not even issued a statement on the matter.

This is the second winter in a row that a deadly disease with the potential to harm a large segment of humanity has arisen in Southeast Asia, and like the winter before, the outbreak has been characterized by denial and deceit on the part of governments in charge of containing it, with predictable results. If this tendency is not curbed, then a time will come when far more will die as a result of ass covering by Asian bureaucrats than ever did at the hands of terrorists.

Update: Pakistan has confirmed the presence of the virus, albeit in a milder form. Might as well color the whole map yellow.

Posted by Bigwig at January 26, 2004 03:13 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

i grew up in India, and this kind of total and oughtright lying by Ministers is nothing new. these Govts, despite having developed some aspects of their economies, still behave like old monarchies, plus, incompetence and corruption is rife. So, I am not at all surprised by the actions o the Malayasian Minister of Health.

Posted by: warrior at January 26, 2004 08:15 PM

You have to consider the possibility that these outbreaks relate in several ways to increasing prosperity. More birds are raised, since far more people can afford to eat them. This might enhance conditions for disease, or it might not, depending on husbandry practices. People do learn from mistakes. But also the reporting of disease has improved, so that everyone hears about an outbreak (even when ministers try to cover it up). In the past, if birds or people died of an obscure disease in SE Asia, who knew? No one, until an epidemic went global. And that's clearly a rare thing. I don't see any reason to believe the risk has increased.

Posted by: Alan Sullivan at January 27, 2004 08:07 AM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.









Remember personal info?