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Sunday, November 13, 2005

LPAI H5N1 in Italy

A report to the ProMed email list indicates that the wild duck that tested positive for H5N1 in Italy was carrying a low pathogenic variety of the virus, apparently not closely related to the highly pathogenic strains found to be killing domestic and wild birds in Asia. The duck was a young wild Mallard, killed and eaten by a hunter in the municipality of Mirandola, province of Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna Region.

This may indicate that low pathogenic (LPAI) versions of H5N1 are circulating in wild birds without causing illness in either wild or domestic birds. Widespread global testing of birds is needed to help determine the range of viruses and their effects in wild birds.

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