The Not-So-Smart Economy> When technology goes wrong > Unauthorized vaccines may have caused bird flu in Japan
"Following an outbreak of avian flu at poultry farms in Ibaraki and Saitama prefectures in Japan, the country's agriculture ministry has announced plans to cull about 1.5 million chickens. It is a relatively weak strain of bird flu and around 504,000 chickens have already been destroyed. Since even a weak strain of avian flu virus could quickly become highly virulent, an additional 1.024 million birds will be killed to prevent the disease from spreading.
Since the diluted strain of avian flu was first detected on June 26 at a chicken farm in Mitsukaido, Ibaraki Prefecture, officials have been scrambling to pinpoint the source of the virus. Now, the ministry of agriculture suspects that the infection was caused by the use of an unauthorized and defective vaccine that contained an active virus. Ministry officials suspect that some viruses may have survived a viral inactivation treatment for vaccine production. Consequently, any virus that survived the treatment could have been active and transmitted from bird to bird. They added that the DNA sequence of the flu virus was almost identical to those that were confirmed in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador between 1995 and 2002.
Source: Biopeer.com Sept 5, 2005
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