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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ducks transmit H5N1 virus through their respiratory system

Via Vetsweb, excerpt :

" The ‘classic’ avian flu virus H5N1 is causing a lot of worries and specualtions among experts. Juthatip Keawcharoen studied this virus and illustrated the role that wild animals, especially birds, play in its spread. Keawcharoen will defend her PhD thesis today (October 25th) at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

The H5N1 virus strain has been circulating since 1997, primarily in Asia. Outbreaks of this virus has lead to widespread mortality among poultry, but has also spread to humans, often with deadly results. The virus does not yet spread from humans to other humans, but the potential of a human pandemic is still present. If the virus were to mutate into a variant that spreads from humans to humans, then the effects could be much more serious than that of the Mexican flu, in which the human mortality rate was 'only' 0.2%."

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