Andy Ho, writing in the The Straits Times (Singapore), offers some points:
1. Soaps, disinfectants, and penicillin can usually take care of the pig bacteria that has been blamed for the China deaths. The large number of deaths suggests something else is going on.
2. Bacterial infections are rarely so lethal.
3. The distance of cases -- 40 townships in different counties -- suggest that birds, and not just flies, may be spreading a virus.
4. Some documents from the 1918 flu suggest similar symptoms, including a darkening of skin.
5. It is possible that strains of H5N1 can produce meningitis, which has been observed in the fatalities.
I do not, in my current setting (holiday), have the ability to look into these claims. Nor have I knowledge of Andy Ho's reliability as a source. Nonetheless it was a well-reasoned, non-hysterical piece, which I thought worthy of mention. In general, The Straits Times offers coverage of avian flu far superior to that of the major U.S. newspapers.