Researchers found strains of avian influenza in sparrows and thrushes, according to a Reuters article
. This prompts concern for the possibility that the birds might infect pigs, which might incubate new influenza strains. The study
, "Mapping the risk of avian influenza in wild birds in the US," appears in the Biomed Central journal "BMC Infectious Diseases."
Using National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health funds, Smith and colleagues teamed up with David DeSante at the California-based Institute for Bird Populations to test songbirds for avian influenza viruses at the same time they were banding the birds for other research.
They tested more than 13,000 birds from 225 different species in 41 U.S. states, and found low-pathogenic avian influenza in 22 species, notably fox sparrows, Cassin's finches, Swainson's thrush and Western tanagers.
Western Tanager courtesy of Bentler.us
Labels: avian flu, bird flu