American ‘wild’ birds identified as culpable for spreading bird flu

by Monisha on  October 26, 2006 at 1:33 PM Bird Flu News   - G J E 4
American ‘wild’ birds identified as culpable for spreading bird flu
American researchers have revealed that they have stumbled upon reasons to prove that two migratory birds, the common wood duck and laughing gull have been found to be vulnerable and prone to infection with the highly virulent H5N1 avian influenza viruses and it has the capability to transmit the deadly bird flu.

In an effort to identify and isolate the birds capable of transmitting the dreaded Avian flu which had most parts of the world reeling in fear because of lack of therapeutics to tackle it, David Stallknecht, associate professor of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and his associates have been successful in demonstrating that various species of North American birds would show varying responses if infected with these viruses.

The results of the study conducted were published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. David Stallknecht clarified that the suspicions surrounding the Mallard, a bird common in North America, being a common reservoir for influenza virus to be a potential danger was laid to rest with this research.

For the study birds that were more likely to bring the virus to North America were studied and researchers studied how much of virus was shed in the feces and via the respiratory system of such wild birds. Researchers found that the more pathogenic H5NI bird flu virus is shed mostly through the respiratory tract of birds. This knowledge can effectively assist scientists to detect virus in endemic areas.

Source: Medindia

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