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October 18, 2005

New Scientist: Bird flu outbreaks expected in more countries

The New Scientist has a good story reporting that avian flu outbreaks are expected in more countries.

The story also makes the point that it's now hard to blame human traffic for the spread of H5N1. This was a matter of some debate last summer when wild birds at Qinghai Lake were dying of avian flu.

It is now believed that the virus has been carried and spread by migratory birds. Previously, it was suspected that infected wild birds might have become too ill to actually migrate, and shed the virus far and wide.

Previous outbreaks in Asia could be explained by the movement of domestic poultry by people rather than migration of the birds themselves. Andre Farrar, a spokesman for the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, says, for example, that the outbreak in wild migratory birds near Qinghai Lake in China, appears to have come from local birds. And the Russian and Kazakhstan outbreaks occurred along a railway route.

"But Turkey and Romania changes things. The outbreaks are entirely consistent in terms of the location and timing of bird migration," Farrar told New Scientist.

Posted by dymaxion at October 18, 2005 07:38 AM

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pleas send me information about H5N1.

Posted by: siamak at October 26, 2005 01:45 AM

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