US embassy cable - 06TOKYO729

AVIAN INFLUENZA: TOKYO WEEKLY FEBRUARY 9

Identifier: 06TOKYO729
Wikileaks: View 06TOKYO729 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tokyo
Created: 2006-02-09 09:06:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: TBIO KFLU KSTH ECON PREL SOCI WHO JA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO1046
PP RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHPB
DE RUEHKO #0729/01 0400906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090906Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8480
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4526
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4612
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7167
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7590
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5726
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 8185
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000729 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR OES/IHA POWELL, SINGER AND FENDRICK 
DEPT FOR EAP/J 
USDA PASS TO APHIS 
HHS PASS TO CDC 
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER, BHAT AND ELVANDER 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TBIO, KFLU, KSTH, ECON, PREL, SOCI, WHO, JA 
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA: TOKYO WEEKLY FEBRUARY 9 
 
REF: A. 05 STATE 153802 
 
B. TOKYO 594 AND PREVIOUS 
 
TOKYO 00000729  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. No human outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza (AI) were 
reported in Japan during the past week. 
 
-- H5N2 Infection not from Wild Birds... -- 
 
2. (U) Ibaraki Prefectural Authorities announced on 
February 6 that all of the tests it conducted on 354 wild 
birds since October of last year came back negative for 
avian influenza.  The Prefecture was investigating the 
route of infection that led to the ultimate culling of 3.3 
million birds at Ibaraki farms.  Officials caught the wild 
birds in twenty towns and cities across Ibaraki, most of 
which included crows, starlings and sparrows.  The 20 sites 
were selected because they either had a history of 
outbreaks or farms with more than 50,000 domesticated 
birds. 
 
-- Tokyo Forms AI Network with 10 Asian Cities -- 
 
3. Tokyo City's Health and Welfare Bureau established an 
Infectious Diseases Information Network with its "Asia 
Network 21" partner cities to share information on avian 
and pandemic influenza via the Internet.  The Network will 
allow the municipal partners to quickly share detailed 
medical records and information on outbreaks as well as 
allow the exchange of information on early countermeasures 
and surveillance capacity.  In addition to Tokyo, the other 
cities in the Network include Bangkok, Delhi, Hanoi, 
Taipei, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Singapore and 
Rangoon.  The Network will post detailed information on 
symptoms and routes of infection, and upload information on 
treatment procedures.  It will also allow participants to 
share know-how and exchange opinions similar to a user 
group.  Access to the website will be limited to government 
officials, researchers and medical personnel in the ten 
cities in order to ensure the credibility of the 
information being shared. 
 
-- Ibaraki Lifts all Remaining Quarantines -- 
 
4. On February 3, Ibaraki officials announced the lifting 
of all remaining 5-kilometer circular quarantines that were 
imposed after antibodies to H5N2 avian influenza were 
detected at poultry farms in the prefecture.  Officials had 
imposed a total of 12 quarantines since last June, 
effecting 119 poultry farms that included 7.9 million 
birds.  The local government has confirmed infections at 40 
farms to date, leading to the culling of a total 3.3 
million birds.  Officials are still unsure of the route of 
infection. 
 
-- Early Detection System for H5N2? -- 
 
5. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
(MAFF) has begun work on developing a system to detect 
H5N2, the less pathogenic strain of avian influenza. 
Several outbreaks of H5N2 have occurred in birds in Ibaraki 
Prefecture since June of last year, and officials remain 
concerned about the continued spread of the virus.  MAFF 
will undertake a two-year study to see how the virus grows 
inside chickens in order to improve earlier detection of 
the disease.  The National Institute of Animal Health, 
Hokkaido University and Tottori University will partner in 
the research.  The study will exam the virus's rate of 
multiplication in a chicken's body and the amount of virus 
that is shed by the birds. 
 
-- Seasonal Flu Cases on the Rise across Japan -- 
 
6. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases weekly 
surveillance of seasonal influenza showed that flu 
infections are spreading across Japan.  Forty-four 
prefectures out of 47 were considered to be at an alert 
level.  Five thousand medical institutions across the 
country send in weekly reports to the Institute.  The 
 
TOKYO 00000729  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
average number of patients infected by influenza was 32.4 
between January 23 and 29, compared to only 26.2 the 
previous week.  The alert level is breached when more than 
30 patients are sick per medical institution. 
 
SCHIEFFER 

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