Monday, February 12, 2007

Wild birds not spreading avian flu

The bird flu expert for the United Nations recently said infected domestic birds -- not migratory wild birds -- most likely bear the blame for the spread of the H5N1 virus in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Dr. David Nabarro said investigators looking into the cause of a bird flu outbreak at a commercial turkey farm in Britain are now focusing on a possible link with the transfer of partly processed birds from a farm in southeastern Hungary, where there was an outbreak last month. ...

Most people killed so far have been infected by domestic fowl and the virus remains very hard for humans to catch. Nabarro said about half the people infected die.
This falls in line with the presentation given by research scientist Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center during Birdwatch America last month in Atlanta. A description of his talk starts on page 7 of the March/April issue.

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