The dead pigs started appearing on the riverbanks of Shanghai’s iconic Huangpu River on March 4, and by the weekend, state media were reporting that 900 had been found floating in the river, the source of much of the city’s water supply. The reports didn’t offer an explanation for where the dead pigs had come from or how they had died. Still, one thing was absolutely certain in the articles and the social- media chatter: Nothing good comes from a dead-pig tide.That is freaking nasty. What the hell goes on in the Middle Kingdom?
Early today, Shanghai Daily reported that the number of dead pigs floating in the river had increased to 1,200. Later in the morning, the Global Times, a national paper, reported that the number had crossed “at least 2,200” and was expected to rise. By early evening, the government had retrieved 3,323 carcasses from the river, with more still floating toward downtown.
Most disturbing of all was news -- first reported by local suburban papers and spread through microblogs -- that upstream pig farms had been struck by an epidemic that had killed 20,000 pigs in January and February. According to these reports, as far back as January, dead pigs were appearing on the sides of roads in suburban Shanghai. News of the epidemic was partly confirmed by state media today.
The virus at work isn’t transmittable to humans, but that’s little reassurance to the 20 million Shanghai residents left to wonder what effect virus-laden pigs have had on the water supply. It’s a question intensified by the efforts of farmers, if not officials, to cover up the epidemic that appears to have caused the dead-pig tide.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Bacon Flavored Water?
Another extremely disturbing story from China: