RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

US Plan for Bird Flu Testing

Bloomberg has a story about the U.S. plans to monitor birds for the arrival of H5N1 in North America. The article reports that ten species have been tested in Alaska--Pacific Black Brant; Emperor Goose; Northern Pintail; Steller's Eider; Rock, Dunlin, Western and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers; Black Turnstone, and Bar-tailed Godwit. Birds considered for testing in the Eastern United States include Canada Goose and Snow Goose.

While its good that a range of birds are being tested, the testing may not be wide enough to find other avian influenza strains in other species--a concern since the virulent strain of H5N1 probably developed in the bird markets of Hong Kong when genetic material from a quail virus combined with material from a duck virus. If other bird species carrying other virus strains become infected with the current H5N1 virus, further mutations may arrise that prove deadly to additional species.

The UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) has called for
--global surveillance of avian influenza in wild birds,
--regulation of animal markets--
--suspension or restriction of the global wild bird trade
--improved standards in poultry farms
--identification of precise migratory routes of waterbirds and the highest risk locations along different flyways

No comments:

Nature Blog Network Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites