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Global Health Alert Update: New Zealand Bird Flu

Posted by te2ataria on September 19, 2008

The low-grade bird flu virus in New Zealand ducks could mutate into “deadly” virus: Researcher

Previously you read:

A Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) employee, Dr van Halderen, claims that they have only found the LPAI H5N virus in the birds, which is not the same as the H5N1 killer virus which spreads much quicker and is known to cross-species jump into humans.

The MAF mercenary “scientist” added:

“MAF Biosecurity New Zealand animal response team manager Dr Andre van Halderen said it was the first time the low-pathogenicity avian influenza H5N1 strain had been recorded in New Zealand.”

We found the statement issued by MAF Biosecurity New Zealand as sloppy science and factually incorrect, and said:

The Moderators do NOT consider the NZ MAF “assurance” reassuring!

Today an Australian research scientist said:

[Excerpts are from a story by NZPA: “NZ bird flu could mutate into more serious virus – Researcher“]

“An Australian researcher says it is theoretically possible that the low-grade bird flu virus detected in wild mallard ducks in New Zealand could mutate into a more serious form of the virus.

“Professor Gregor Tannock told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the virus could pose a threat to New Zealand poultry “if it mutates from low pathogenic to high pathogenic”.

“Prof Tannock, who is studying bird flu at the MacFarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health in Melbourne , told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the virus was probably present in many more estuaries than those where it was found.

“Both the infected ducks were found near Invercargill, one at an estuary 2km west of the city and one at Roslyn Bush, following a surveillance programme in February that tested six other sites throughout the country. Invercargill was the only site with infected ducks when the findings were confirmed this week. Now Australian poultry owners are being warned to step up their own biosecurity checks in the wake of the discovery.

“Australian poultry owners should ensure wild waterbirds cannot access poultry feed or water and should limit contact between wild waterbirds and poultry, Biosecurity Queensland’s chief veterinary officer Ron Glanville told AAP.

“‘This is just a commonsense, precautionary measure,’ Dr Glanville said.”

We find the Australian researcher’s explanation about the possibility of virus mutation wholly plausible!

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