Bird flu virus strain found in Maryland

September 12, 2006

U.S. scientists say an H5N1 avian influenza virus found earlier this month in Maryland is a low pathogenic subtype and poses no threat to humans.

The scientists from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior said the virus was initially detected in fecal samples collected last month from resident wild mallard ducks in Maryland's Queen Anne's County. The same strain has been detected several times in wild birds in North America.

Genetic tests conducted at the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories ruled out the possibility the samples carried the highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 avian influenza that is circulating in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa.

The government scientists say low pathogenic strains of avian influenza commonly occur in wild birds and typically cause only minor sickness or no noticeable signs of disease in the birds.

Low pathogenic H5N1 is very different from the more severe strains that spread rapidly and are often fatal to chickens and turkeys.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Change in environment can lead to rapid evolution, researchers say

Related Stories

Influenza virus in wild birds in Norway

September 12, 2013

Ducks and gulls are the natural hosts of influenza A virus. Ragnhild Tønnessen's PhD research project has characterised influenza A viruses in gulls and ducks in Norway.

Viruses jumping species and zoo polar bear disease

August 16, 2012

Zoos bring together different animal species that would never encounter each other in the wild. On occasion, this can have unforeseen consequences. When in 2010 at the Wuppertal Zoo one polar bear died and another fell severely ...

New genetic lineage of Ebola virus discovered in great apes

November 12, 2007

Since its discovery 30 years ago, Ebolavirus has struck repeatedly in several epidemics breaking out mainly in Central Africa. Gorillas and chimpanzees are also victims of the violent haemorrhagic fever attacks the virus ...

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.