Martin wrote:

Hi Candy:

Many thanks for posting this.

I’ve emailed Helen (who earlier did piece inc me saying re dead birds don’t fly):

A species no one has ever found – hahaha, X-Files fans rejoice!

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])


You forgot flies and bats! ;) Now with new outbreaks in China,Thailand and Vietnam, who knows? I think there could be another reservior which could lead eveyone to sing: I’m a little bit wrong and You’re a little bit right, or whatever those lyrics are. :)