Answer to promed re avian species and H5N1

Just seen that promed moderator asking: "which avian species (singular/plural) is/are the (efficient) transmitter(s) of this particular virus strain in terms of distance and time."

Emailed promed with response:

"Easy answer: None.

Natural selection remains potent, never mind the propaganda pumped out from certain quarters inc FAO (now suggesting wild birds migrating from Africa could spread H5N1, even though no evidence of H5N1 in Africa)."

Share this

"The said overview - [url=http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no01/05-1024.htm]H5N1 Outbreaks and Enzootic Influenza[/url] - might have been written prior to the westward spread of H5N1 and its detection in Romania, Turkey, Crimea and Croatia. "

Yes, it might.

And since the said overview, have you also noted re no H5N1 outbreaks on the migration routes of birds from Qinghai; nor elsewhere in Asia (ex-Russia)?

Also that birds affected in east Europe evidently not from areas known to have H5N1 during spring/summer 2005?
- eg, Croatian swans of "west European" origin.
Other waterbirds sharing ponds with the Croatian swans apparently not infected - several tested, but no H5N1. Maybe as tests also indicated low levels of excretion by swans.

Other than Qinghai, it appears it is far from easy for this virus to transmit among wild birds: several instances of infected birds being found at places with numbers of waterfowl (eg tens of thousands in HK), yet no sign of spread.

Does seem, though, it's pretty easy to spread among Robert Webster's experimental ducks.
And can then do some hand-waving "science" to say it therefore spreads readily among wild birds, and engage in fear mongering for Africa, Afghanistan etc etc.