The US government is testing wild migratory birds for a deadly strain of avian flu. The GLRC’s Rebecca Williams reports, so far, no wild birds have tested positive:
The US government is testing wild migratory birds for a deadly strain of
avian flu. The GLRC’s Rebecca Williams reports, so far, no wild birds have
Researchers have tested 13,000 wild birds in Alaska. They’re worried
that wild birds could carry the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu as they
migrate from Asia to North America and infect other birds in Alaska. The
virus has killed more than 140 people in Asia, Europe and Africa.
Gale Kern is with the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services
“We still don’t know how effective wild birds are at carrying the virus long
distances. I think we need to remain diligent and really keep up our
surveillance efforts because we just really don’t know a lot about this
particular strain yet.”
Kern says biologists will now focus on testing birds in the lower 48 states
as fall migration south begins.
Agencies also consider poultry imports and smuggled pet birds ways the virus
could get into the States.
For the GLRC, I’m Rebecca Williams.