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Passport

A bird flu coverup uncovered?

Regular readers will know that FP and Passport have been following closely the evidence that China is less than fully transparent on public health issues. Karl Taro Greenfeld gave a gripping account of China's effort to downplay SARS in our March/April issue. More recently, Passport linked here and here to hints of official dissembling on bird flu. Today, the ...

Regular readers will know that FP and Passport have been following closely the evidence that China is less than fully transparent on public health issues. Karl Taro Greenfeld gave a gripping account of China's effort to downplay SARS in our March/April issue. More recently, Passport linked here and here to hints of official dissembling on bird flu. Today, the Times of London is running a story that has the Chinese government fessing up to a coverup.

China revealed today that its first human death from bird flu was a soldier who died of the H5N1 strain in 2003, two years before the country first publicly acknowledged a human infection. The confirmation showed that the virus was present in China before the outbreak of the virus was disclosed elsewhere in Asia and raised questions about Beijing’s ability to detect emerging diseases, as well as its transparency.

We'll keep an eye out for future twists to what may be a complicated story.

 Twitter: @multilateralist

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