Thursday, December 20, 2012

Alaskan Scientists Zero In On Avian Flu At Temperatures 40 Below

Huffington Post 

[Comment:  The clade 2.3.2 in Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, is deadly for ducks]
Excerpt from the original article:

However, the primary focus of the scientists is the flu, although it's not what most think of when it comes to the flu. No runny duckbills or chicken soup for these guys. Brandt Meixell, a wildlife biologist and co-investigator with the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center, said it's almost impossible to tell apart a sick duck from a healthy one and the virus very rarely leads to death.
“Holding one bird that has it and one that doesn't -- there's no discernible difference,” Meixell said.
Duck influenza hasn't received as much attention as avian influenza. So far as is known, it stays within bird populations, only produces mild illness and cannot be transferred to humans.
The virus generally moves through the birds in the fall, especially young ducks, thanks to their “naive” immune systems, Meixell said. Not only are the Chena birds all staying back for winter, they're also packed tightly together allowing for easy transmission of the virus. Checking them throughout the winter will give scientists a better idea how long the virus and its antibodies remain in the animals.

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