#3846
imported_Martin
Participant

Tests now positive; also for a turkey on a Greek island.
Help show re making premature judgements, I guess; but not good otherwise.

Here’s email I’ve just sent a science writer, doing piece re h5n1 and wild birds; she asked me to comment on a couple of ProMed postings.

Where does OIE have info to support notion wild birds can carry h5n1 for long time, without ill effects?
(True, within a population rather than individuals, for regular wild bird flus – not this poultry flu unless OIE have info I haven’t seen.)

Evidence is to the contrary.
We’ve seen birds inc geese, swans, ducks, die of h5n1. (Even flamingoes; also peregrines – which you’d figure are highly bird flu resistant as prey on birds inc ducks)
Despite extensive testing, eg 7000 birds in HK last year, I’m yet to see confirmed reports of seemingly healthy wild birds with h5n1. (Might be a few I’ve missed; the Thai results just maybe – but odd; sparrows, mynas not normally migratory birds [as reported in the Nation] – I figure latter most likely to have fed around farms w infected chickens.)
OIE sending team to Russia to look for these hypothetical “healthy” wild bird vectors.
Until they’re found, they are making baseless allegations. Show, I think, more a political judgement than science.

Webster has found asymptomatic domestic ducks in Vietnam. Was this same strain as migrants at Qingha?i – no.
Otherwise, seems that have to have a form of h5n1 that can kill wild birds, killing range of species; yet mysteriously becomes benign to them so they can transmit (not making apparent impact among even populations of wild birds [we’re not seeing lots of birds dying so a few can make it along migration routes] – I’ve seen, for instance, email saying many waterfowl have passed thro Lithuania without apparent ill effects; Nial likewise re maybe a million waterfowl already to S Korea; ducks so far to Hong Kong all look fine thank you very much.)

Virus shedding shown to happen from non-dying ducks for up to 17 days. That’s way longer than period since main outbreaks in Russia.

Why is spread by trade unlikely just because fighting cocks not involved?
With foot and mouth, can get plenty of spread, even when supposed controls in place (eg wikipedia article on foot and mouth in 2001 – some reached continent from UK).

This just posted to Oriental Bird Club; interesting, I think. I’d figured on, say, some birds scavenging on chicks/chickens dying of h5n1; maybe birds feeding together with infected poultry (if, say, poultry roam fields or on ponds visited by wild birds ); by Norman D.van Swelm:

Quote:
There is no stopping unproven accusations by the press now it seems, today’s
BBC TV reports regarding bird flu in Rumania were loaded with them and shots
of a dead juvenile Pelican and flying flocks of adult Pelicans must clearly
tell who is the culprit.

If migrant birds come into contact with sick poultry how long will it take
before the infected bird becomes ill. During an outbreak of poultry flu in
The Netherlands some years ago migrant ducks were immediately blamed to be
the cause of the outbreak. The Ministry of Agriculture claimed wild birds
were known to be carriers of the virus but were themselves immune however
they were clearly still able to infect poultry. Later the most likely cause
of the outbreak appeared to be a migrant chicken which arrived from Italy by
car. As far as I am aware no infected wild bird was ever found at the time!

Nevertheless it is important to register instances where and how wild birds
come into contact with poultry and to assess the risks involved for either
of them. In Bahrain, poultry farms are popular birding spots. I went there
on several occasions, the situation is that in the backyard at some distance
of the main buildings manure is being dumped as well as dead chickens. Such
dumps attract plenty wild birds in particular waders such as Ruff, Curlew
Sandpiper, Dunlin but also Cattle Egrets, House Sparrows, Wagtails etc.
Clearly this is a situation whereby wild birds can become infected by
poultry and vice versa. Chicken manure from poultry farms is commonly used
in agriculture and spread out over vast areas in Europe and in theory wild
birds could come in to contact with poultry diseases.

Best regards – and Aargh!
Martin