Tick. Tick. Tick.
The WSJ.com Avian Flu News Tracker reports on new human cases in China and Indonesia, and also this report from a North Korean human rights activist:
A woman infected with bird flu was hospitalized in North Korea in December, and leader Kim Jong Il has ordered the government to eradicate the disease among chickens and other birds, said Lee Young Hwa, leader of the human rights group Rescue the North Korean People in Japan. He said he learned of the outbreak from RENK members in North Korea. He said there was a high possibility that the woman, who was treated at Pyongyang’s Red Cross Hospital, was the first human case of bird flu in the country, but he was not sure.
If H5N1 breaks out in North Korea it seems unlikely that WHO or other organizations will be given the opportunity to intervene and cabin the disease, or even receive reliable information on its virulence and mortality rate.