Martin W

From a Bloomberg item:

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — Thailand, the world’s fourth-largest poultry exporter, found avian flu in pigeons and other wild birds, prompting the government to intensify surveillance for the lethal virus that threatens to infect humans.

Four pigeons were among a group of wild birds that died last month in the central province of Suphan Buri. Tests confirmed they had the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, Thawat Suntrajarn, the Health Ministry’s director general of disease control, said in an interview broadcast on Business Radio today.

“We have asked all related officials to closely monitor the death of poultry and birds,” Thawat said. “Any people that have flu-like symptoms with a history of contacting poultry will be quarantined.”

There is little evidence linking human cases with contact with wild birds, said Denis Hoffmann, a technical adviser on avian flu with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Bangkok.

“With good protection, there is not much concern about virus infection in wild birds” spreading to humans, Hoffmann said in a telephone interview today.

“A lot more blame has been put on migrating birds, but they are not necessary the cause” of H5N1 outbreaks in domestic fowl, he said. “There is a lot of evidence some bird flu is spread by the movement of poultry products and eggs.”

Thailand’s Agricultural Ministry yesterday said 2,100 poultry were culled to contain an outbreak in Phitsanulok province, about 377 kilometers (234 miles) north of Bangkok. Outbreaks in the Southeast Asian nation last year killed three people in July and August.

Thailand Reports H5N1 Avian Flu Strain in Wild Birds (Update4)

– wonder if the other “wild birds” were – like the pigeons – residents, living closely with man, including perhaps feeding on grain that’s been pooped on by chickens.
– slso good to see the FAO quote; tho must guess Joseph Domenech is still ready and willing to blame wild birds for nigh on all infections across borders.