#3858
Martin W
Participant

Hi again:

My belief is that for various officials, wild birds make easy scapegoats (better than saying may be problems with poultry industry – both economically and strategically important).
And connection maybe seems easy – this is “bird flu”, and birds move around. Suits the media, when want headlines while only look superficially. Wild birds migrating from China and Russian with deadly disease – how scary is that?!

Sometimes, seems officials may take little notice of science. Eg Lee of WHO, saying re wild birds’ importance; while another (lower in chain in WHO, but more in contact with science?) – a WHO flu expert as I recall – said he felt they’re not too important.

In FAO, Domenech at top blames’ wild birds; yet a vet with extensive experience of H5N1 in the field in Asia, including working for FAO, believes wild birds aren’t major vectors (Les Sims, posted to one of threads here). Again, the guy who knows details, vs someone with more cursory overview – it seems to me. [Domenech quoted in a thread here; admits he has no smoking gun, no species he can point to that’s moving flu.]

“Dead birds don’t migrate” used by guy with US Geol Service, which actually doing bird flu in wild birds work. Dunno if came from my Dead Ducks Don’t Fly article, via links on left here (Bird Flu n Wild Birds).
Pultry disease expert in US, Swayne [sp?], also believed wild birds not vectors – less sure now after Romania.
[I’d ask: if wild birds spreading, why are no wild bird outbreaks currently known in Asia? Plenty of migrants moving and moved here this autumn. May yet see outbreaks, but as yet, no. I was at wetland w migrants in HK today; all looking as normal, tho given leaflet with guidelines re flu, inc washing hands before using telescope]

You mention evolution; see re evolutionary biology. In essence, with bird flu, Dead Ducks’ Don’t Fly; explains why natural wild bird flus are “mild”, and to me strongly suggests/shows wild birds can’t be major vectors for highly pathogenic flus – bearing out all results till this year, anyway. [Similarly, why human flus tend to be none too dangerous]
I haven’t seen decent counter-arguments.

More info still needed; more will come as autumn comes to close over next v few weeks.

Martin