Recently, many people died of avian influenza in Qinghai province. The affected localities reveal that, as of early April 2005, there have been several deaths of migratory birds. Because of lack of reporting, the news has not traveled widely. Toward the end of April 2005, cases of human infection started to emerge. After 1 May 2005, some tourists who visited the areas were severely affected, and 6 of them died.
During the month of April 2005, a large-scale dissemination of the infection took place involving both humans and domesticated animals. The affected area is vast but sparsely populated. Thus, the problem of large-scale of infection involving both humans and domesticated animals is relatively unnoticeable. The feral birds migrate freely and so expand the area of transmission. The Chinese authorities have admitted the outbreaks and started to seal off the affected area.
Because of this, Mrs. Yi Wu (Chinese Minister of Health) has cut short her visit to Japan and returned home. According to the local news in the affected locality, the number of human casualties is higher than 6.
The deceased persons are all foreign tourists (i.e. not local residents): 2 (a man and a woman) from Chengdu, and one man from Chongqing, Sichuang province. It is unknown from where the remaining casualties come.
The information was provided by someone who has visited the area of the outbreaks.