[2008.06.28] 华南禽流感:鸡飞鸭跳

Avian flu in southern China

A game of chicken

Jun 26th 2008 | HONG KONG
From The Economist print edition

The government’s caution arouses suspicions about what it knows

ALMOST as long as it has had people, Hong Konghas had booths selling squawking live chickens. They are treasured by localswho spurn frozen meat, finding it tasteless. But after the latest in a seriesof outbreaks of avian influenza, the government has offered HK$1 billion ($128m) to put the whole business out of itsmisery. That is the cost of a plan unveiled on June 20th to buy back all thelicences allowing live chickens to be sold.

The latest bout of bird flu was first detected in four wet markets in Hong Kong on June 11th. Since then there has been nopanic. But fear has advanced in baby steps. The government at once ordered acull of 3,500 birds being held for sale, and banned imports of live chickensfrom Chinafor 21 days. The news reached the territory’s elite when exclusive restaurantshad to pull chicken from their menus.

Then came reports of 4,000 ducks dying at a Guangdong farm, having contracted, it waslater confirmed, the H5N1 avian-flu virus. Another 17,000 birds were killed asa precaution and Hong Kong blocked imports ofall birds raised within 13km(eight miles) of the affected farm.

The source of the original infection remains a mystery. So the governmentdecided to preclude future problems with its drastic decision to end thelive-chicken trade. The traders, many from families that have used the samestalls for generations, have rejected the offer of compensation for theirlicences as mean and misguided. They have threatened to release live poultry onto the streets. The government is continuing to negotiate with them. Publicopinion on the issue is hard to gauge: as in any market, fear is battling greed,and in this case gluttony.

The ban on chickens imported from China expires on July 2nd. But theywill have to be sold the day they are imported and those unbought will beslaughtered. Yet, amid all the carnage, questions remain about the seriousnessof the outbreak. Sceptics wonder if it is merely another of many efforts toensure that nothing, particularly an outbreak of disease, can cast a shadow onthe Beijing Olympics in August. Others, however, point to the strength of thegovernment’s response, and ask if there is more to it. They recall the epidemicin 2003 of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which killed hundreds ofpeople before disappearing as mysteriously as it had arrived.
针对大陆活鸡的进口限制将于7月2日到期。此后,所有大陆进口鸡只必须当天售出,否则将尽行宰杀。一片喊杀声中,针对疫情实际程度的疑问挥之不去。怀疑者认为,此番种种措施,只是为了防止在八月奥运之前又生事端,尤其是发生疾病流行。但另有论调则批评港府应对措施不力,要求采取更严格的手段。执此论调者举出2003年急性呼吸系统综合症(即 SARS)爆发的先例。当时,SARS曾导致数百人死亡,但此病却是来去无形,

So some fear that the government knows more than it is letting on,particularly about the presence of avian flu in southern China, where health inspectors andthe press both face constraints. Hong Kong insists all imports from Chinamust come from specially licensed farms, but reporters from Next, alocal magazine, discovered the rules being circumvented.

Since 1997, when 18 people were infected with bird flu and six died, therehave been numerous outbreaks. Avian flu is not only particularly virulent; italso has the rare capacity to cross barriers between species. But it is hard totransmit. Well-cooked chicken is safe. In the past, it has been relayed throughhandling and poor sanitation, both issues of concern in Hong Kong. Local television stations have begun running public-serviceadvertisements urging people to wash their hands and to wear masks if theysuffer flu-like symptoms.
1997年, 18人感染禽流感,其中6人病亡,此后疫情不断,延绵至今。这种传染病不但致命,而且少有地能跨物种传播,但其传染性有限,禽肉只要充分加热,便不具危险。过去,此病曾因人禽接触或是卫生不佳传染,这引起了港民的警惕。此后,当地电视台开始播放公益广告,倡导居民洗手,并警告居民,如发生流感症状,必须立即佩戴口罩。

The second precaution seems redundant; bird flu has not yet spread fromone person to another. But it underscores the bigger fear: that the diseasemight mutate and become broadly infectious. Given the frequency with which thedisease crops up in Hong Kong, the governmentmay be justified in not taking any chances.


Game of Chicken在维基百科里的解释是:
The game of Chicken, also known as the Hawk-Dove or Snowdrift[1] game, is an influential model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the outcome where neither player yields is the worst possible one for both players. The name “Chicken” has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves but the other does not, he or she will be called a “chicken”

简言之,Game of Chicken原意指的是”比胆大的游戏”,两个司机沿着一条道路面对面开车,如果其中一个人胆怯而闪开了,则两人相安无事,但先闪开的人会被叫做”chicken”,”胆小鬼”,但至少能保住命。如果两人都不做”chicken”,就都死定了。


译者:houyhnhnm    http://www.ecocn.org/forum/viewthread.php?tid=12378&extra=page%3D1

“[2008.06.28] 华南禽流感:鸡飞鸭跳”的3个回复

  1. 一点个人意见,仅供参考:第一句的“as long as it has had people”不应该是指空间,而是谈的纵向的时间,即从香港有人居住以来就有卖活鸡的生意,要不然作者也不会使用现在完成时态。而且“只要有人的地方,就几乎肯定有热闹的活鸡摊档”也不现实,毕竟香港是个现代化国际大都市,相对来说高楼多,集市少。

  2. The news reached the territory’s elite when exclusive restaurantshad to pull chicken from their menus.



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