Source Pravda.Ru

Hong Kong housewives like to buy still alive chickens

It's a stall that sells the chickens the Hong Kong housewives like to buy still alive to ensure their freshness. But the stall-holder and her birds are behind a pane of glass that stretches from floor to ceiling. She is in effect encased in a large box. She's almost completely separated from her customers. When they buy a chicken she kills it, plucks it and wraps it up before passing it through a small gap in the wall.

The customer's contact with her or her birds is reduced to a minimum. These are the kind of measures the scientists say are needed throughout Asia if we're to have any realistic chance of protecting ourselves from bird flu - in addition to the stockpiles of anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu or the yet to be produced anti-bird-flu vaccine. But in reality we're not going to see measures like that across Asia. While Hong Kong might be what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as the 'gold standard in terms of surveillance and measures designed to prevent the emergence of bird flu', poorer nations in South East Asia just don't have the same kind of resources to throw at the problem.

That is the biggest issue facing Asian governments. The bird-flu virus H5N1 has been circulating in this region for at least two years. It's a stall that sells the chickens the Hong Kong housewives like to buy still alive to ensure their freshness. But the stall-holder and her birds are behind a pane of glass that stretches from floor to ceiling.

She is in effect encased in a large box. She's almost completely separated from her customers. When they buy a chicken she kills it, plucks it and wraps it up before passing it through a small gap in the wall. The customer's contact with her or her birds is reduced to a minimum.

These are the kind of measures the scientists say are needed throughout Asia if we're to have any realistic chance of protecting ourselves from bird flu - in addition to the stockpiles of anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu or the yet to be produced anti-bird-flu vaccine.

But in reality we're not going to see measures like that across Asia.

While Hong Kong might be what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as the 'gold standard in terms of surveillance and measures designed to prevent the emergence of bird flu', poorer nations in South East Asia just don't have the same kind of resources to throw at the problem.

That is the biggest issue facing Asian governments. The bird-flu virus H5N1 has been circulating in this region for at least two years, reports BBC news. I.L.

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