Recent Promed post included:
Winkler et. al.
Asian-origin avian influenza (AI) viruses are spread in part by
migratory birds. In Alaska, diverse avian hosts from Asia and the
Americas overlap in a region of intercontinental avifaunal mixing.
This region is hypothesized to be a zone of Asia-to-America virus
transfer because birds there can mingle in waters contaminated by
wild-bird-origin AI viruses. Our 7 years of AI virus surveillance
among waterfowl and shorebirds in this region (1998-2004; 8254
samples) showed remarkably low infection rates (0.06 percent) [There
were only 5 positive samples, and none were H5. – Mod.MHJ]. Our
findings suggest an Arctic effect on viral ecology caused perhaps by
low ecosystem productivity and low host densities relative to
available water. Combined with a synthesis of avian diversity and
abundance, intercontinental host movements, and genetic analyses, our
results suggest that the risk and probably the frequency of
intercontinental virus transfer in this region are relatively low.
full article at: