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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.


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Tue 16 Nov 2004

Domestic Ducks Could Pose A New Avian Influenza Threat

Category : news

Domestic Ducks Could Pose A New Avian Influenza Threat, International Agencies Warn - WHO Press release, 12 Nov 2004.

"Domestic ducks may be acting as a silent reservoir for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which is highly pathogenic for chickens, and may thus have acquired an important new role in the transmission of the virus to other poultry and, possibly, to humans as well.

The concern is greatest in rural areas of affected countries, where traditional free-ranging ducks, chickens and wildlife mingle, frequently sharing the same source of water, according to a joint statement by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).

Findings pointing to an altered role for domestic ducks join other recent evidence that the H5N1 virus circulating in parts of Asia has increased its virulence in chickens and mice (a laboratory model for mammals), and has expanded its host range to include mammals, such as cats and tigers, not previously considered susceptible to infection.

A new laboratory study of domestic ducks infected with several H5N1 viruses isolated in 2004 shows that, when compared with infections caused by viruses from 2003, domestic ducks are shedding more virus for longer periods and as before, are doing so without showing any sign of illness."

The complete press release can be read here.

See also Avian flu and wild birds at BirdLife International, July 2004.

Posted at 1:04AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news