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NEWS: Questions Raised On How Much Bird Flu Carried By Migratory Birds.

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posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 04:14 PM
The Mongolian outbreak of Avian Bird Flu appears to have died out, raising questions on just how easily the virus is spread between migratory birds. Wildlife experts have said that only about 100 birds of 6,500 succumbed to the virus at Lake Erkhel, some of which were carrying a H5 strain of the disease. The lake is near to the borders of Russia, China and Kazakhstan all of which have recently announced outbreaks of the virus.
"Sure enough, birds were dying," Karesh said. They sampled some of the dead swans, geese and gulls, and also collected samples from healthy birds.

"In this situation it had a very low impact," Karesh said.

"It makes the disease self-limiting in wild birds."

Experts say the key to spreading influenza would be healthy birds that are not sickened by the virus. If the virus kills an animal quickly, it is less likely to spread it.

"Currently, all evidence points to domestic ducks as the ones who can shed it and transmit it and not get sick," Karesh said.

But the jury is out on wild birds as being major spreaders of the virus, Karesh said. "If we have lots of wild birds shedding it and they look healthy, that would be pretty good evidence that they are," he said.

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Although this may be a glint of hope in the potential pandemic and crisis, more studies will need to be done to find out whether this is true of the virus. So far the outbreak in Mongolia has been neither confirmed or denied that it was of the H5N1 strain.

It does appear that the spread of the disease is not contained and it appears that migratory birds certainly do carry the virus and once the virus has mutated I on't think it will really matter how fast or slow it spreads in the bird population after that point. From then on the only concern will be how fast it spreads human to human.

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