Bird flu arrived in Russia in very curious way. We were told that the virus was introduced by ducks that migrated to the Altai region. When you look at the map, you discover that these ducks not only crossed the Himalayas on their way from India to the Altai, they made the trip in mid-summer when migratory birds tend not to fly very far. Not to mention that the incubation period of bird flu is such that the ducks would have keeled over in the Himalayas. When you plot the reported outbreaks of bird flu on the map, however, you can’t help noticing that the route chosen by those wild ducks — Altai, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Kurgan, Chelyabinsk, Tula — coincides quite closely with major railroad lines.