Many thanks for posting this.
I’ve emailed Helen (who earlier did piece inc me saying re dead birds don’t fly):
With foot-n-mouth in 2001, the disease made it from UK to continental Europe by transport unknown (Wikipedia) – no one invoked mysterious flying cow relatives.
One bird flu case (in US?) was, I’m told, traced to poultry crates w droppings being transported hundreds of km.
H5N1 now in western Russia – so not 2000km.
More data needed.
Yours undefeated (till that X-Files Bird is found!),
I should add that h5n1 been shown to be lethal in range of birds (partly thanks to ornamental/zoo collections) – inc swans, geese, ducks (major regular, wild bird flu carriers – and apparently unaffected by these viruses), plus flamingoes, crows, birds of prey…
– also kills tigers, civets, humans, mice; so even excluding birds, nothing yet found the h5n1 variant can’t kill (a significant proportion of).
(There have been asymptomatic domestic ducks found in Vietnam; maybe not same strain as to Europe, and not clear if this spreads. Recent outbreak just killed domestic ducks there.)
– so I’m sceptical there is such a species.
Plus, for all the hooha in Europe, here in Asia we’ve so far got far fewer outbreaks than over 2003/04.
More data, more results; less hasty conclusions (eg Helen B’s article seemingly done before western Russia outbreaks reported [when did they start; tough to know real details like this])