Dumped poultries create new hazard

Dumped poultries create new hazard The bird flu that has killed millions of poultry in east Asia, may be tougher and more dangerous to humans than previously suspected. Research from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, revealed that domestic ducks infected with H5N1 shed large quantities of virus in feces as well as through the respiratory tract. The 2004 strain of H5N1 survives longer in the outside environment than those from earlier outbreaks. But most disturbing is the fact that some countries were reported dead poultries were dumped in their own backyard! In Kenya, about 400 dead chickens were found in a residential area of Nairobi called Kasarani over the weekend, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). They were apparently dumped in that neighborhood. As in India, despite requirements for control measures, these wastes are generally dumped on land or discharged into water bodies, without adequate treatment, and thus become a large source of health hazard. "We have no control with people dumping their dead poultries in their backyard. But on a given season (spring), a different temperture or different type of soil, the dumped might transformed into something else." said Klaus Stohr, who leads the Global Influenza Programme at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. "It is becoming increasingly pathogenic and we are discovering it can infect more and more types of mammals." It remains a mystery if the contaminated soil could become a new breed of hazard. Even if it does, we will have a hard time prevent from it. "Based on the risk analyses, we think that March is a critical period and we expect . . . new virus in the future," Jozo Bagaric, head of the veterinary administration said. "Most of them feared they would end up like the ostriches, to be shot dead for having the virus."

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Hi Richard:

Thanks for the post.

Somewhat odd, as I've seen re research by St Jude's (Webster et al), in which the forms of H5N1 less lethal to ducks were excreted in low amounts. Rather as swans in Romania found to excrete low amounts; birds sharing ponds with them not infected.

Dumping dead birds etc - perhaps even selling cheap poultry from or near infected areas - may well be a problem.

Martin