Sunday, December 02, 2007

In a flap over bird flu in Poland

Turkeys on two farms near Plock, central Poland, have been detected as suffering from the H5N1 strain of avian flu.

And two in the northern Pomorze region, meat containing the potentially deadly strain of the virus have been found in shops coming from two warehouses, in Żukow and Sierakowice.

Lithuania has put a ban on poultry being imported from Poland [correction - see comment 1]. The Polish government claims that this is against EU rules.

Is it a risk to human? Well, the virus has been around at least since the early 1090s and humans have been infected since 1997. Just over 206 people have died over the years, even though millions of birds have caught the virus. Not one case has been detected of being transmitted from person to person – meaning a pandemic is unlikely with the virus in its present form (though it does mutate).

The humans that have contracted the decease usually live within close proximity of poultry – on small farms in southeast Asia, for instance.

If meat is cooked normally then it can not be transmitted that way, either.

So it will be interesting to see the newspaper’s reporting of these two cases tomorrow. Are we in for more doom and gloom headlines about a bird flu pandemic heading our way?

More panic?
See Survive the flu!
Deadly avian flue - official, the beatroot, March 2006


michael farris said...

"Lithuania has put a ban on poultry being imported from Poland"

No it hasn't. At least not according to those nice folks at polskie radio

beatroot said...

So totally contradicting a report the same people gave at 1.00.

beatroot said...

And Richard at EU Referendum - who has written a book about these kinds of panics - tells me that there are three different 'clades' of H5N1, only one of which is dangerous to humans. To my knowledge the vets have not yet identified which molecular sub-type the virus in Plock is yet.

michael farris said...

I saw a crawl on tvn24 this afternoon indicating that there was no ban (and that the position of the Polish government was that a ban would in fact violate EU rules.

beatroot said...

So where id this story about there being a ban come from? It appears to have been on IAR in the morning.

michael farris said...

They probably planned one and then backed out. The story I linked to mentions a meeting between the national vets of Poland and Lithuania and the current EU protocal for bans of poultry movement.

pinko said...

I'm not an expert on avian influenza so there is an outside chance that I'm about to reveal my ignorance on the subject. However I am a pedant and are you sure it hasn't "been around at least since the early 1990s" rather than "since the early 1090s"????

geez said...

I am very much opposed to forced marches of any kind:

current EU protocal for bans of poultry movement.

michael farris said...

apropos of absolutely nothing:

Płock is one of my favorite former wojewodzkie towns, along with Zielona Góra (nice town, nice people but not relevant here).

I went there (Płock) in the early 90's looking for the Mariavites a little known heretic offshoot of Roman Catholocism:

What did I find, but a rather mediocre but conventional nun sister Faustyna

being revered for ... nothing in particular.

If I had not had a personal experience with official re-writing of history I might not have noticed ...

geez said...

Dude, she did up the picture of JC with the red and white heart rays.

Divine Mercy chapels and chaplets and all that.

That's nothing in particular?

And she visited hell and purgatory.

All a pretty big deal.

What's the deal with the official rewriting of what history?

michael farris said...

She seemed pretty conventional next to Kozłowska, a true revolutionary.

And the first time I went to Płock was month or so after JPII had been there and Faustyna imagery was _everywhere_. To me the contrast was pretty stark.

My own experience isn't especially important here except that a friend told me I would never have made the connection between the unconventional and disgraced nun vs the imported conventional idealized nun without it.

That is (to be perfectly clear) what better strategy when visiting the former stomping grounds of a troublesome rebel than than to idealize a non-rebel for being ... non-rebellious?

geez said...

How popular was the Mariavite church in Plock when it started in terms of percentages?

In the US, I'd guess that the Polish Nationals numbered less than 5% of Polish immigrants in the cities when they started out (prolly their high point because after the initial excitement, their numbers kept on dwindling).

And how was Kozlowska "a true revolutionary?"

geez said...

I see she was very pretty in her youth:

Looking at the matter more closely, too, it looks like the Archbishop guy was more so the revolutionary than her, no?

michael farris said...

No, she was the one IIRC who thought that nuns and monks should marry, that women should be able to become priests and that the church shouldn't accept money from parishoners but rather support itself (which should give you an idea of how popular she became with the RC Church). She was just decades and decades ahead of her time.

The movement grew for a while and I think at the heighth of its popularity had maybe 100,000 members (I read about this a long time ago my numbers are probably off).
The mass ex-communication and Kozłowska's bizarre death slowed things, but it was the guy that took over after her death that ran it into the ground (perhaps with some help from agent provocateurs).

geez said...

Bizarre death? Didn't see that anywhere aside from a photo of her on her death bed (?) where it looked like she had swallowed several watermelons whole. What what so bizarre about her death?

And from what I read, I dunno if it was really her who got the ball really rolling. Seems she was willing to accept the warning from Church authorities and wanted to quiet things down. There were a lot of charletan priests running around with grandiose ideas about themselves in those days and I wouldn't be surprised if Kowalski was one. And it seems the local Jesuits led the charge against the Mariavites. And like the youthful picture of the Mateczka shows, she was quite the babe. Hey, I might have even joined. Anyway, though, I suspect Kowalski racheted things up and caught her up in the maelstrom. And she was prolly pretty full of herself, too. But if left by herself, I betcha her visions would have been limited to purely pious stuff about the BVM. Yea, she eventually started visioning the Whore of Babylon bit but it seems like those particular visions came *after* she was excommunicated. Then Kowalski got himself the Archbishop designation and started calling for women priests, married priests, etc. At least that's the way I read it. Her latter day visions, I suspect, were directed by Kowalski. Really nice church in Plock, though.

I'm still curious about what percentage of Plock joined up with the rebels in their heyday??? I'm guessing it was way more than 5% which makes it really unique. I've seen numbers of up to 400,000 throughout Poland. And I think I've seen an estimate of 100,000 for Lodz.

michael farris said...

"Bizarre death? Didn't see that anywhere aside from a photo of her on her death bed (?) where it looked like she had swallowed several watermelons whole. What what so bizarre about her death?"

It was the part that made her look "like she had swallowed several watermelons whole". I forget what she died of but it was a painful condition that caused massive stomache swelling (making her look as if she were pregnant and reinforcing the title 'mateczka') IIRC they drained her stomache after death and pouring a vast amount of vile fluid into a hole in the ground.
The main book I read on them she was very much the driving original force and kowalski more of a hanger one. Hard to say now.

geez said...

Shows she wasn't saintly. If she were a saint, her gunk would've smelled like roses.

Interesting stuff. No way of really knowing which way it all happened without having been there. They have some of their old history in English on that website I posted with her photo. They also have the watermelon belly photo there, too. In any event, seems like her faithful were at least spared from her projectile vomiting. That would have rivalled Vesuvius erupting.

zbiggy said...

I hope she wasn't the first victim of bird flu.

geez said...

After this post I'm going on a retreat of sorts feeling guilty I've goofed on the dead. Mea culpa. Catholic guilt, what can I say?

But it seems that Kozlowska was influenced by another priest even prior to her association with Kowalski, namely Casimir Przyjemski who came to Plock in 1884, seeking to establish an association of priests in connexion with the Third Order of St. Francis.

Other stuff out of the Catholic Encylopedia notes: In 1906 the number of Mariavite priests amounted to about 50 in some 20 odd parishes, claiming a following of 500,000 souls.

Came across this citation re. a book in English about the Mariavites: The Third Adam by Jerzy Peterkiewicz (Oxford University Press, London, 1975).

Also came across this which also deals a bit with the Mariavites which may be interesting to some folks in respect to other considerations, too: The "woman question" in Russian Poland, 1900-1914:,+1900-1914-a088583555

Renegade Eye said...

See this.

michael farris said...

"I hope she wasn't the first victim of bird flu."

Don't be silly, it's been around since the 1090's.

Phil BC said...

Yeah, some Chinese guy has recently died from H5N1, unfortunately.