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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Sunday, January 01, 2006
WILD BIRDS NOT MAJOR CAUSE OF FLU'S SPREAD, SCIENTIST SAY
Virus seems more likely to be transferred by aircraft.

WASHINGTON -- Bird flu appears more likely to wing its way around the globe by plane than by migrating birds.

Scientists have been unable to link the spread of the virus to migratory patterns, suggesting that the thousands of wild birds that have died, mostly waterfowl and shored brids, are not primary transmitters of bird flu.

If theat holds true, it would suggest that shipments of domestic chickens, ducks and other poultry represent a far greater threat than the movement of wild birds on the wing.

Mutation feared.
It also would underscore the need to pursue the virus in poultry farms and markets rather than in wild population of birds to checkl a possible pandemic. U.S. and European experts said.

The H5N1 stains has infected million of poultry throughout Asia and parts of Europe since 2003. The virus also has killed at least 71 people, many of whom has close contact with poultry.

The virus has'nt been shown to spread from person to person, but many fear that it could, potentially killing millions in a global pandemic.

While the prospect that migrating birds coild carry the virus worldwide still worries health authorities, that sort of scenario doesn't appear to be playing out.

"The is more and more evidence building up that wild migratory birds do play some role in spreading the virus, but personally I believe -- and others agree -- that it's not a major role.," said Ward Hagemeijer, a wild bird ecologist with Wetlands International, a conservation froup in Wageningen, the Netherlands." If we would assume based on this evidence that wild birds would be a major carrier of the disease, we would expect a more dramatic outbreak of the disease all over the world".

Not in Western Europe, Nile Delta.
Reports this summer and fall of the spread of the H5N1 strain strongly suggested wild birds were carrying the disease outward from Asia as they followed migration patterns that crisscross the Earth. The timing and location of outbreaks in western China, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Croatia seemed to point to wild birds en route to winter grounds.

That put places like Alaska, where birds from the Old and New Worlds gather each summer to create what some call an "international viral transfer center", on alert that the virus coild arrive this coming spring. But since early fall, there have been only scattered reports of more outbreaks. The disease has been glaringly absent, for example, from western Europe and the Nile delta, where many presumed it would crop up as migrating birds returned to winter roosts.


(Source: Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:52 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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