China must be alert to any mutation of changes in the H1N1 swine flu virus because the deadlier H5N1 bird flu (avium flu) virus is endemic in the country. WHO warned on Tuesday that H5N1 had erupted in pultry in Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietname, posing once again a threat to humans. The most obvious ris is that H5N1 will combine with the pandemic (H1N1) virus, producing a flu virus that is as deadly as the former and as contagious as the latter.
Cover-ups by local Chinese goverment officials in 2003 during the SARS epidemic led to the dismissal of serval officials. More than 300 people died in that outbreak.
China, the world’s most populous country, has reported around 70,000 cases of H1N1 and 53 death from the virus.
WHO reported more than 526,060 laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1 worldwide on November 15, with at least 6,770 dealths. WHO has stressed for months that this is only the tip of the iceberg.