Do you know how many chickens do we consume every day? Three thousand, five thousand or more? We demand almost more than ten thousand chickens daily. What a big figure! We can see that chickens are very important to Chinese society. Chickens are always devoted to God and served in dinners to celebrate traditional festivals. Without chickens, it will cause inconvenience to Hong Kong people, especially during Lunar New Year. Unfortunately, Hong Kong people has just encountered this situation. Because of the outbreak of bird flu, all chickens had to be removed from Hong Kong. In this report, we would like to talk about the topic ¡¥Bird Flu Crisis In Hong Kong¡¦. We will give a brief introduction of the bird flu virus H5N1, analyse the short-term and long-term consequences of the flu in Hong Kong and see what Hong Kong have learned from this incident.
What is Influenza A (H5N1)?
There are three types of influenza, designated A, B and C. Influenza B and C rarely cause local outbreak of flu but not the influenza A. It is very important to all mankind as this is the type of virus that has caused world-wide pandemics. And H5N1 belongs to the vision of influenza A.
What is H5N1? H stands for hemagglutinin (HA), which is a viral protein. It will cause the red blood cells to stick together. And N is the viral protein too, which is called neuraminidase (NA). In an influenza virion, there are five hundred spikes sticking out from its lipid envelope in which 80% of the spikes are HA and 20% NA. HA helps the virion get into host cells and NA helps the offspring virions to get out. The two virions together are responsible for the viruses¡¦ability to cause the disease. (Cited from http://www.synapse.ndirect.co.uk)
Bird flu virus H5N1 was first isolated form birds in South Africa in 1961. Within these 37 years, the virus seemed to disappear in the world. But with no warning given in advance, the virus reappeared last year in May and caused 6 deaths in Hong Kong.
People who are infected by the virus H5N1 would have the characteristic symptoms including a rapid development of fever and chills, headache, sore throat, muscle pains and dry cough. These symptoms would commence after the incubation period of 1 to 4 days. (Lee, Stella).
Short-term consequences of bird flu crisis
1. Pressure on hospitals
... middle of paper ...
... chickens sell out in two hours.¡¨
Ku, Genevieve. Main parties ready to approve $770m payout. South China Morning Post. 9/1/1998.
Ku, Genevieve & Li, Angela. Slaughter payouts dismissed as inadequate. South China Morning Post. 6/1/1998.
Lee, Stella. 18 private doctors to join bird flu probe. South China Morning Post. 18/12/1997.
Lee, Naomi. ¡§Chicken prices to drop after service fees for cages cancelled.¡¨
Lee, Naomi. ¡§Hawkers ignore chicken kill guidelines as imports rise.¡¨
Lee, Naomi & Mathewson, Ruth. ¡§Border flu checks delay first bird delivery for one day.¡¨
Li, Andrea & Wong, Billy. Cash-strapped farmers worry for families. South China Morning Post. 30/12/1997.
Poole, Oliver. ¡§Cathay offer hit by flu fears.¡¨
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