REPORT China: At the Coronavirus is added bird flu – swine fever – locusts


China calls to win the award for the nation with the highest concentration of viral and pandemic manifestations across the globe.

In fact, 2020 started with the following epidemics: ù

So let’s analyze the situation…. since few care to update the world … focused on solving individual local problems, without looking at the global reality and its consequences in the immediate future.


As of January 8 this year, the highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemic of subtype H5N6 has occurred again in Xinjiang, Hunan, Sichuan and other places.

Among them, on February 1, after the outbreak of avian influenza in broilers raised by a farmer in the Shuangqing district, Shaoyang city, Hunan province, 17,828 chickens were slaughtered locally.

On February 9, 2,261 chickens were slaughtered on a poultry farm in Xichong County in the city of Nanchong in Sichuan Province due to an outbreak of bird flu.

A first analysis reveals that poultry infections belong to the highly pathogenic avian influenza subtypes H5N1 and H5N6 – focused in the provinces of Hunan and Sichuan. 

The two outbreaks resulted in the killing of over 20,000 chickens, causing huge economic losses. 

Avian influenza has become a major threat to public health due to its widespread spread in poultry, its ability to transmit humans and its high mortality (around 50%) after human infection. 

In China, human infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza is classified as a class B infectious disease and is managed according to class A, which belongs to the same level as SARS and new coronary pneumonia. 

There are many subtypes of the avian influenza virus, including the subtypes that are most prevalent in China and that have the greatest influence are H5N1, H5N6, H7N9 and so on.

In order to detect the spread of avian influenza virus in poultry in China, the Tian Huaiyu laboratory of the Global Institute of Beijing Normal University collaborated with the National Center for Influenza of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, University of Leuven, UCLA, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shandong First Medical University, Southern China University, National Center for Bird Ecology, Chinese Forest Academy, University of Oslo, Oxford University and other national research groups and foreigners on the spread of avian influenza subtype H5N1, H5N6, H7N9 in poultry in China and its relations with the trade in live poultry.

The results were sent to the competent authorities in the form of direct mail: Beijing Normal University is the first communication unit published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

How does bird flu spread? 

Since the outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in Guangdong province in 1996, the avian influenza virus has been circulating in Chinese poultry for more than 20 years and epidemics have occurred in all provinces of the country. 

Previous studies have confirmed that the avian influenza virus is transmitted to poultry by its natural host, wild waterfowl, and that humans are infected with the avian influenza virus through direct or indirect contact with poultry. 

Previous research has revealed the role of migratory bird migration networks in Asia on the transmission of avian influenza virus (Tian, PNAS 2015), but a global understanding of the spread of avian influenza in China is lacking through the transport of poultry.

Migration of migratory birds spreads bird flu 
The trade in live birds spreads bird flu

What is the relationship between trade in live birds and avian flu? 

In addition to the migration of wild birds, the trade in live birds has been considered another important factor in the spread of the avian influenza virus among poultry everywhere. 

Especially in the context of China’s complex poultry farming and trade chain, farmyard farming and live poultry markets that lack biosecurity measures have been a breeding ground for the transmission of avian influenza virus among poultry. 

Previous epidemiological studies and sample surveys on live poultry markets and on farmers have found that in some parts of the country there is a link between local trade in live poultry and the incidence of avian influenza. 

If we can broaden the scope of the study to the impact of the trade in live birds on the spread of avian influenza virus across the country after the outbreak of avian influenza in Sichuan and Hunan, we may be able to take targeted control measures. in some provinces and key cities. 

Research shows that the spread of avian influenza virus in China is influenced by live poultry trade and can also be divided into 5 regions (LPTC live bird trade group, Figure 1).

Figure 1 Live bird trade network and live bird trade communities

How does the trade in live birds affect the transmission of avian influenza?

In order to analyze the possible mechanism of influence, the method of surveying the structure of the community in the science of networks has been introduced, reconstructing the path of the live bird trade network; this analysis made it possible to formulate the regional structure – as shown in Figure 1. 

The provinces of the same color represent the same group and also represent a closer trade of live poultry among them. 

It is worth noting that these geographical groups and regions map together. For example, LPTC-1 corresponds to the region of the Pearl River Delta, LPTC-2 represents the region of the Yangtze River Delta, LPTC-3 corresponds to the three northeastern provinces, LPTC-4 corresponds to the northern region and LPTC -5 corresponds to the western region. 

At the same time, based on the sequences of the HA gene of the avian influenza viruses of the subtype H5N1, H5N6 and H7N9, the history of virus transmission and evolution between the provinces was deduced.

This regional structure of the trade in live birds may also explain the spread of the virus across the country. (Figure 2).

 Further quantitative analyzes found that within the same commercial population of live poultry, the average transmission rate of the virus was higher than that between the different commercial regions. 

In other words, we can determine that poultry and avian influenza outbreaks in a given province are more likely to spread first to the same commercial group through the trade in live birds.

Figure 2 Evolution and history of the transmission of H5N1, H5N6 and H7N9 viruses between live bird trade areas

[Meaning of research and political inspiration]

Over the past 20 years, workers and researchers for disease prevention and control have provided epidemiological investigation and sharing of avian influenza data in China, providing an important basis for understanding the spread of this important infectious disease.

The discovery of the regional spread of avian influenza provided a scientific basis for government departments to more specifically formulate prevention and control policies such as monitoring the trade in live birds and biosecurity measures.


On December 24, 2019, Xuyong County, Sichuan Province detected African swine fever out of 3 pigs shipped from other provinces – 15 of them died.

According to a first reconstruction, the first case occurred in August 2018, on a Shenyang farm in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

Two weeks later, the virus appeared more than a thousand kilometers south, in pigs bought by the country’s main retailer, the WH Group, and from another province in the north-east, Heilongjiang.

Despite the warnings, the government has not adopted any misuse … really preventive, in fact the presence of an outbreak in the three contiguous northern provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Henan, where a large number of farms is concentrated, has practically never been reported medium-small part and family-run, and where 20% of the 700 million pigs slaughtered in the country arrived in 2017.

In 2019, the Beijing government announced an allocation of 630 million yuan for 1.01 million sick pigs to be killed, but several farmers (dozens directly to Patton) said they had never seen even one yuan, and had not received aid. not even for the elimination of carcasses.

The consequence of these shortcomings by the institutional bodies meant that the farmers abandoned the sick pigs in the mountains, on the streets, in the woods. 

Another source of contamination is the habit of feeding pigs with scraps, including those from the slaughterhouse – which originated 23 outbreaks in 2018.

In 2020, due to the African swine fever,  the Beijing authorities assumed the same attitude adopted with COVID-19!

The control bodies of the Chinese government initially denied and guilty underestimated the extent of the spread of an infection, and then admitted that the swine fever has already halved the 440 million pigs raised in the country, reducing by a quarter those bred in the world and, consequently, fueled a surge in prices and inflation never seen in the past eight years.

In January 2020, they revealed the presence of the virus in 5% of the over 2,000 samples taken in November.

According to an Australian study, the percentage of infected meat among those arrived by sea or by air in Australia with travelers from Asia would even be 48%.

In addition to the three main plagues, China is also facing the plague of locusts.

The National Forestry and Grassland Bureau of the Communist Party of China issued an emergency notice on March 2 stating that the plague of locusts that has spread to East Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia could hit Tibet and Yunnan with the monsoon since June. in July.
The notice cited FAO’s view that the desert locust disaster that started in Africa due to initial poor control could continue until June 2020, when the locust population could grow to 500 times its current size.

Before the plague of locusts, around 360 billion locusts devastated East Africa and many West Asian countries, reaching India and Pakistan, causing a large area of ​​crops to be cut or cut, threatening China.


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