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Friday, November 11, 2005

Lieberman's plan to monitor wild birds for avian influenza

Senator Lieberman has a proposed bill to create a Global Network for Avian Influenza Surveillance. It was included in the Harkin-Specter amendment aimed at combating the growing threat of bird flu to Americans. The Senate passed the amendment, and if it makes it through the conference committee, the bill will:

• Increase the efficiency with which we can detect, verify, and report on the presence of deadly viruses and other infectious diseases in migratory birds,

• Create a database that identifies the avian flu and other viruses of interest in migratory birds so that they can be shared in as close to real time as possible.

• Track mutations or changes in the virus in wild birds,

• Utilize virus tracking information to guide domestic and global preparedness.

This looks like just the kind of start we need to be able to monitor avian influenza and other viruses that may impact the health of people and birds.

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