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Britain's Bird Flu Plans Tested

By London_Nick Last edited 133 months ago
Britain's Bird Flu Plans Tested
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Britain's contingency plan for an outbreak of bird flu in the country is being tested today and tomorrow with a real-time simulation of an infection.

Exercise Hawthorn uses hundreds of volunteers to simulate a bird flu outbreak from three days into the crisis. The DEFRA-run exercise includes organisations such as the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Environment Agency, Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence, and other Government departments. It is based on a scenario in which a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu is identified on a free range farm in Norfolk on day zero. On day two, two highly suspect cases are reported at a turkey farm in the North of England and an egg production unit in south Wales.

And what ironic timing! News is just coming in that bird flu has already reached Scotland. A dead swan in Fife has tested positive for the H5 strain of the virus, but whether it is the H5N1 strain - which can be deadly to humans - is not known. The conclusive results are expected tomorrow. The area has been sealed off, and if it is found to be the H5N1 strain, further restrictions will be put in place.

So whilst the emergency services are gallavanting around the country on Exercise Hawthorn, bird flu hits our shores. Whilst Londonist doesn't condone the mass hysteria that exists on the issue of bird flu, we certainly hope, in the light of today's news, that Hawthorn finds Britain's contingency plans to be up to scratch.

Last Updated 05 April 2006

Imam Muadin

The Other Bird Flu Cases:

Has anyone else noticed that the "norovirus", "rotavirus", "winter vomiting bug", “gastro” running rampant with cases and quarantines in India, China, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Carribean, the United States, and Canada; has closed 25 day care centers in Guilford City, North Carolina; nursing homes in New York City, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania; has killed a 12 year old boy in Iowa, had three charter jets met on the tarmac by ambulances, last week, at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, and one international flight, Hong Kong to Vancouver, also met by ambulances at the airport? Has anyone noticed that while statistics for “norovirus” state that only five out of every thousand cruises should be affected by this illness, five cruises have been hit, returning from Mexico, Hawaii, and the Carribean, and hundreds infected, in the past couple of weeks? Has anyone noticed that a “parvo” outbreak is killing dogs in the same communities affected with the “norovirus”, including areas in California, the American midwest, Virginia, Texas, and in Ontario, Canada, and that these dead dogs are eerily reminiscent of dead dogs in Azerbaijan? Has anyone noticed that 140 Canadian Infantrymen from Camp Petawawa in Ontario were stricken while training and had to receive medical attention for vomiting and diarrhea? Has anyone noticed that 27 students from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA had to go to the hospital with this on March 17th and that the Rhode Island Department of Health is currently investigating an outbreak at a Woonsocket, R. I. father-daughter dance on March 31st? Rhode Island Health has directed that anyone with vomiting and diarrhea seek immediate medical attention and, if in child-care, health-care, or food services, not report to work? Incubation is two and a half weeks for the avian flu. Early cases have false negatives and milder symptoms. Run the symptoms "vomiting" and "diarrhea" on Yahoo News. Add “nosebleeds”, an early symptom of avian influenza, and find that children in Austin, Texas are also experiencing that aspect of the illness. Look yourself. Check "cholera" to find the thousands of cases in Africa filed under that cover-story. We are in a pandemic of something. First wave. Please provision yourselves and your families. God be with us all.

POSTED BY Imam Muadin

James

Er... anyone? Is there a doctor in the house?

wer

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