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Thursday, May 11th 2006

Bird Flu Not Spreading

Well, as quickly as some feared. Actually, I don’t really know how valuable this study from Wetlands International is. Basically, it says that someone’s fear, somewhere about how fast bird flu was going to spread might have been unfounded. Well, glad we got that settled.

Kind’ve sounds like the guys at Wetland International don’t want any governments going around exterminating wetland birds in an avian flu panic.

Anyway, here’s the Houston Chronicle story or info from Wetlands International themselves.

Experts from Wetlands International tested some 5,000 wild birds in countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Senegal, Malawi and Kenya but didn’t find the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, which can be fatal in humans, said Ward Hagemeijer, who studies the disease for the organization.

Scientists had feared that the spread of the virus would pick up speed with the birds’ winter migration to Africa and the Middle East, and their spring return to Europe.

Scientists say they do not know why bird flu does not appear to be spreading in the wild as widely and quickly as feared.