The 'True' Statistics About Avian Flu In China
The following item will probably get big play on the avian flu blogs if and when this Boxun post gets translated into English. There is no point to give a full translation here, as there are two and only two main points. And then it becomes a test of faith.
First, there is this table of statistics coming from an anonymous member of the Ministry of Health in China, containing the statitsics for the year 2005 up to the date of November 12, 2005:
|Number of Deaths||Number Infected||Number Isolated||Number Unaccounted For||Method of Transmission|
|Inner Mongolia||28||9||149||2||Bird-human, human-human|
Second, the statistical table came with this qualifier from Boxun: 以下来自自由发稿，博讯无法核实 (translated: this freelance article came to us from the outside; Boxun is not able to verify it).
Where do you stand?
Option 1: This proves that yet another catastrophe is occurring while the Chinese government attempts to cover things up.
Option 2: This is yet another pack of lies from people who want to sow chaos and confusion in China. How in the world can there be so many outbreaks across the country without anything getting out? And this isn't even a good story, because you would have added some more deaths in Bejing after the happenings at the poultry market there. And didn't the newspapers reported that 106 people were isolated and observed in Hunan? This is exactly the sort of proof that the Chinese government needs in order to block websites such as Boxun, as well as a reminder that you should not trust anything else on that website.
Option 3: You throw up your hands in despair because you don't have a clue and you are quite unhappy about it ...
Consider the following exercise: you can type up your own statistical table of numbers from the new outbreak of SARS that was previously covered up but now revealed by an anonymous member of the Ministry of Health, sent it over to Boxun and they will publish it too.
The standard answer is that the people's eyes are snowy clear and they can tell the truth. Are you so sure? On one hand, your table claims 542 SARS-related deaths (well, it is actually whatever you make up). On the other hand, the Chinese government said NO in ten different ways, but they can't prove that there were no 542 SARS-related deaths.
What should the people think? You help them along by coming up with your updated table a week later, with another 26 new SARS-related deaths ... it's fun, isn't it? It's the Internet era in which everyone can say anything that he/she wants anonymously ...
The ESWN blogger is neither for nor against this set of numbers. He does not have a clue, and neither do you. He is for the design of an open, transparent system in which such numbers can be confidently trusted. Unfortunately, he has no clue about how to go about doing it.
Related Link: The Masato Tashiro Statement; The First Avian Flu Case In Beijing