Thursday, May 11, 2006

Migrating Birds Didn't Carry Flu - New York Times

Migrating Birds Didn't Carry Flu - New York Times:
ROME, May 10 — Defying the dire predictions of health officials, the flocks of migratory birds that flew south to Africa last fall, then back over Europe in recent weeks did not carry the deadly bird flu virus or spread it during their annual journey, scientists have concluded.

International health officials had feared that the disease was likely to spread to Africa during the southward migration and return to Europe with a vengeance during the reverse migration this spring. That has not happened — a significant finding for Europe, because it is far easier to monitor a virus that exists domestically on farms but not in the wild. 'It is quiet now in terms of cases, which is contrary to what many people had expected,' said Ward Hagemeijer, a bird flu specialist with Wetlands International, an environmental group based in the Netherlands that studies migratory birds.
The good news is it didn't happen as expected. The bad news is they don't know why, and this is what's disturbing about this story. It kind of feels like Freddy just disappeared in the second reel and you know the movie isn't over yet.

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