U.S. to increase wild bird avian flu tests

Mar 21, 2006
Bird flu

U.S. scientists are increasing the number of wild birds being tested for avian flu in an attempt to identify the disease as soon as it enters the nation.

Health officials say they expect the virus to be found in the United States this year, mostly likely carried by wild birds during the annual migration from Asia through Alaska, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The great fear among scientists is that the virus could mutate and then spread easily between people, resulting in a devastating worldwide pandemic, The Post said.

U.S. wildlife experts have been monitoring wild migratory birds since the virus emerged in Asia in 1997, so far testing 12,000 in Alaska since 1998 and 4,000 traveling across the Atlantic since 2000. No birds have tested positive for the virus.

Current plans call for collecting as many as 100,000 samples from live and dead wild birds this year, along with 50,000 samples of water or feces from waterfowl habitats across the United States, The Post reported. Officials are also to conduct spot checks of birds that are killed by hunters or are being raised on farms.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ads effective even in the midst of multitasking, studies find

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mongoose sentinels respond flexibly to threats

Nov 12, 2014

Just as soldiers on sentry duty constantly adjust their behaviour to match the current threat level, dwarf mongoose sentinels exhibit flexible decision-making in relation to predation risk, new research from ...

UN biodiversity meet commits to double funding

Oct 17, 2014

A UN conference on preserving the earth's dwindling resources wrapped up Friday with governments making a firm commitment to double biodiversity aid to developing countries by 2015.

Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight

Aug 28, 2014

How did the earliest birds take wing? Did they fall from trees and learn to flap their forelimbs to avoid crashing? Or did they run along the ground and pump their "arms" to get aloft?

Recommended for you

Study calls for audit transparency

15 hours ago

As major accounting companies increasingly outsource audit work to other firms, a new study from the University of Colorado Denver Business School says greater transparency is needed to help investors assess the quality of ...

Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally

15 hours ago

Considerable attention has been paid to how boys' educational achievements in science and math compare to girls' accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls ...

User comments : 0

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.