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Monday, June 20, 2005

To These Shores?

Recombinomics reports that an unusual number of dead seabirds are showing up on the Mid Atlantic coast. Most of the birds are migrating north from South Africa. South Africa has reported birds positive for H5 avian flu:
"But some birds who reached the S.C. coast alive had stumbling, uncoordinated movements"
Dead or neurologically impaired birds from South Africa are cause for concern. South Africa has been battling avian influenza for most of this year. An OIE report this month indicated ostriches were found to be H5 positive at over 100 farms in South Africa.

H5N1 bird flu can cause death or neurological problems. Last year there were also problems with H5 HPAI in ostriches in South Africa.
I sure hope someone's testing in this country. Maybe I should call the Health Department about the birds suddenly dying in my area again. One of them was a goose.

Also, Recombinomics has a nice review of the spread of H5N1 from birds to humans in Asia. There has been a cluster of new infections in Vietnam in the last month, but the virus seems to be far less fatal than in prior outbreaks. It does seem as if significant human to human transmission might be taking place.

Same story on the NC coast. No real press coverage here, yet.
This stuff is kinda scary.
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